is at his full, frenzied power as Phil Weston, a married, uncoordinated would-be sportsman with an uncoordinated would-be sportsman son--and an unresolved relationship with his coach father, Buck (Robert Duvall
), who has very little tolerance for the uncoordinated. When Buck trades his own grandson to a real loser of a little league soccer team, Phil naturally takes over underdog coaching duties and the two men butt heads. You could easily, and perhaps rightfully, dismiss all of this as a dumb, demented Meatballs
or Bad News Bears
rip-off, but it's pleasantly dumb and sometimes hysterically demented: Encouraged by his neighbor, ex-Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka (yes, playing himself), Phil stops his vitamin regimen and becomes wildly addicted to regular doses of caffeine, which turns him into a monster of a team leader. In addition to Ferrell, Duvall does a doozy of a comic riff on his Great Santini
role, and even Ditka is unexpectedly funny. It's a formula film with just enough far-out notions to keep you chuckling. --Steve Wiecking
Family sports comedy, starring Will Ferrell. Phil Weston (Ferrell) has long had to put up with his own father Buck's (Robert Duvall) competitive and overbearing nature. But when Phil's son joins a Little League football team, Phil finds that his own competitive nature hasn't been buried as well as he thought, and it gets worse when he learns that Buck has decided to coach a rival team. Before long, Phil is gaining enemies all over the place as he browbeats his team with the attitude that winning is everything.