#AmericanUnderdog – Movie Review

American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 52 minutes

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Kurt Warner watched Super Bowl 19, and Joe Montana inspired him to play.  With the odds stacked against him, Kurt joined the University of Northern Iowa football team.  However, he spends most of his time sitting on the bench.  He wants to make a highlight reel for agents and the NFL draft.  So, Kurt asks Coach Allen to give him a chance.  Allen tells Kurt that he has to earn it by proving he can stay in the pocket.  After a grueling practice, Kurt gets to start and make enough plays for his reel. 

One night, Mike Hudnutt invites Kurt to go line dancing.  Kurt isn’t a fan of country music, but he goes out anyway.  He sees a beautiful woman on the dance floor, and she gives him a look.  The next day, Kurt begs Mike to teach him how to dance.  Later, Kurt asks the woman for a dance.  She refuses to give her name while asking everything about him.  Before their final dance, she tells Kurt that she’s Brenda and leaves.  Kurt runs after her because he wants to ask her out.  But Brenda tells Kurt it won’t work because she is a divorced mom with two kids.  To Brenda’s surprise, Kurt shows up at her door the next day with a rose.  Her oldest son, Zack, lets Kurt into the house, and they bond instantly.

After a successful string of games, Kurt finds an agent and waits on the NFL draft picks.  Though the NFL didn’t draft him, the Green Bay Packers hired him with a $5,000 signing bonus.  When Coach tells Kurt to take the field, Kurt hesitates because he doesn’t know the plays.  After two days, the Packers cut him.  Kurt goes home to Brenda, unsure of what to do next.  She tells him to keep his dream.  He gets a job at the Hy-Vee at night while she goes to nursing school in the day.  Jim Foster sits at their table and offers Kurt a position with the Arena Football League during a rare date night for Kurt and Brenda.  Kurt laughs and calls it a place for players going down the drain.  Kurt doesn’t plan on joining unless heck freezes over.  Well, Kurt will get his wish and his first step into the NFL.

Based on All Things Possible: My Story of Faith, Football, and the First Miracle Season by Kurt Warner, this movie proves perseverance wins overall (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  As the film begins, viewers get the stats of high school players moving to college and then to the NFL.  Next, the likelihood of going to the Super Bowl and winning MVP.  Hearing these stats allows you to understand the odds Kurt faced on his way to becoming MVP in Super Bowl 34.  From learning how to dance, risking life and limb for his family, and staying in the pocket, Kurt’s difficult moments prepared him for the next step in life and the game.  He could adjust faster than a seasoned pro and listen better than a rookie.  His ability to adapt and learn a new style helped him tremendously on the field.  But, it’s what Kurt does off the field that gives him joy.  His work with Treasure House brings him and Brenda more pride than his football career.  Also, the film does a great job of blending old footage with today’s filming.  And directors use professional football players for some of the game sequences.  It allows the viewer to stay in the correct mindset with no distractions.  While the story is encouraging and gives you a sense of faith, you won’t have an urge to buy or watch again.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Yeah, you’re welcome – Kurt

You have no idea how happy this makes me – Mike

Nope, not yet – Brenda

You’re too old to be a rookie and too green to be a pro – Coach Dick Vermil

There is something special about you, son – Coach Mike Martz

Here’s my card.  Oops. Dropped a little money there – Jim Foster

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