Drama starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson as Sean Porter, a detention camp probation officer who oversees the inmates at Camp Kilpatrick in Los Angeles and isn't willing to write off the violent offenders who have been placed in his care. Though their prospects for the future are bleak, Porter is convinced that he can help them turn their lives around and make amends for the mistakes of their past. When Porter's proposal of forming a football team at Camp Kilpatrick meets with resistance in the highest ranks, the determined coach puts his career on the line to prove that even convicted criminals can acquire the tools needed to build a brighter future when given the proper motivation and the means of doing so.
In Gridiron Gang
, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson once again displays far more cinematic charisma than one could expect from a former professional wrestler. Sean Porter (Johnson, Be Cool
), a football player turned juvenile detention counsellor, wrestles with a seemingly insolvable problem: The vast majority of young men who leave detention fall right back into crime. Seeking a way to give these not-yet-hardened kids a taste of self-esteem and discipline, Porter persuades his superiors to let him teach the kids football--and then take on high school teams. Though based on a true story (documentary footage over the closing credits reveals that some dialogue was lifted straight from the real Sean Porter's mouth), Gridiron Gang
is pure underdogs-overcome-adversity formula. A formula is not necessarily a bad thing; when executed with skill and commitment, fulfilling a classic story mechanism can be perfectly satisfying, and Gridiron Gang
qualifies. But it's Johnson who carries it through, demonstrating--in the most unlikely of roles--a surprisingly gentle touch. Johnson manages to be manly without overbearing machismo, earning not only respect but empathy. --Bret Fetzer, Amazon.com