Spirit of the Game (2016)


“You’re doing what you love son, and that’s good too. Your brothers would be proud.. all of them.” – Parley Condie

Number of Times Seen – 1 (1 Mar 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A group of Moron missionaries in Australia try to help create a basketball team that could compete on a professional level.

My Take on it – This is a film that I came across by accident and knew nothing about it at all.

The fat that it’s based on real events adds a lot to the impact of things yet the aren’t able to actually break away from the feeling that is just a good movie that tells a nice story but nothing more than that.

There really isn’t anything in this film that lets us get enthusiastic about the story or the characters because of the way that things move along.

They actually start things off really well and give us some great father-son interactions and advice, but that suddenly disappears even before the mid way point of the movie and those aspects are sorely missed down the line because of the warmth those scenes add to the story.

Since the characters are missionaries, there is an aura of preachiness that permeates here and that also takes away from things a bit which is a shame.

Liked the way that this movie is able to show how the way that these characters act both on and off the court is able to influence those around them in sometimes profound ways due to this stellar example that they give.

Their basketball skills don’t hurt things at all either.

This film is far from perfect, but still has its moments along the way that make it worth watching.

Bottom Line – This is a good film that tells a nice story yet doesn’t allow us to get really enthusiastic about the characters or story. The film starts off with some great intereactions between the main character and his father and we can really feel that warmth, but that stops before the midway point and then things begin to feel more lackluster than it probably should. The story also gets a bit too preachy along the way which also hurts things a bit too much. The film does a nice job tho showing how these characters are able to change the way people think of them due to their basketball skills and their demeanor on and off the court, which is quite commendable to watch.  Then fact that this is based on a real story also helps keep things in perspective and make things a bit more interesting even if it is far from perfect.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Elder Condie meets Elder John H. Groberg on the boat to Australia, and Elder Groberg tells him he’s getting off at Tonga. The story of Elder Groberg’s missionary experiences is told in the film The Other Side of Heaven (2001). (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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