McFarland, USA (2015) – Encore Review

“Welcome to McFarland, Blanco.” – Maria Marisol

Number of Times Seen – Twice (17 May 2015 and 16 Nov 2020)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A troublesome high school football coach gets a new job in a new town and decides to create a cross country running team with his new talented students.

My Take on it – This is a film that I saw not long after it came out and only has a slight recollection about the story.

I recently saw the movie The Rocket (2018) which also deals with the sport of cross country running and was reminded about this film.

The story is quite uplifting and is presented well.

Kevin Costner once again shows that he can lead a film almost entirely by himself even if his character is far from being the perfect father, coach or person for that matter.

Unfortunately this film fails to explore his character on a much deeper level.

They do a mice job showing how he forms this team of runners and finds ways to inspire them like any good movie dealing with sports usually does.

Unlike the film that I mentioned earlier that inspired me to rewatch this, they fail to give a more thorough explanation of this sport which can be done quite simply.

The plot and story are far too cliched for their own good which takes away from this story feeling more unique than any other ripped from the headlines sports story.

This story is based on real events and real people but they still make all the characters and the situations they encounter feel far too bland and stereotypical which in turn makes things even harder to find a specific character to root for along the way which is quite a shame.

Bottom Line – Uplifting sports movie that works quite well. Costner is pretty good in the lead role even tho his character isn’t explored on a deep enough level. The way that he puts together the team and inspires them to achieve greatness works well and seems quite plausible the whole way through. They fail to give a thorough explanation of how the sport of Cross Country running really works which is a shame because after watching The Rocket (2018), one can learn how this sport works quite easily. Despite the story being based on real events and real people, the characters are a bit too stereotypical and bland which makes it harder to root for any character in particular.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – During the California state competition, the runners passed through the Griffith Observatory in California. This was also the place where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character arrives in The Terminator (1984) and in Terminator Genisys (2015). (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10) (downgrade from original review)


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