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Remember the Miners.
on 25 May 2011
Glory Road is directed by James Gartner and written by Chris Cleveland & Bettina Gilois. It stars Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, Austin Nichols, Jon Voight, Evan Jones, Schin A.S. Kerr & Emily Deschanel. Based on a true story, the film follows how basketball coach Dan Haskins broke down racial barriers during the 1966 NCAA national basketball championship season.
You got to hand it to Disney, after the success of Remember the Titans in 2000, they must have trawled long and hard to find another sports based underdog story involving racial concerns. And here it is, only this time the action has moved from the grid and out on to the court. As with Titans, Glory Road takes artistic license to ram home its point, well, to make a better movie actually. What we have is an inspiring story, with a well worthy message at its heart, but it all feels a bit late in the day. Don't get me wrong, we continue today to fight racism in all walks of life, and we all like to be uplifted by triumph over adversity, it's just that it feels like the sports based underdog story is being done to death. Playing the race card, artistically, is meant to be this particular movies saviour. But glossing over the facts does nobody any favours, whilst making things up to gain dramatic thrust is just plain wrong, and this is the House of the Mouse we are talking about.
I enjoyed the film, it's hard not to like, but it's a film that's equally as frustrating as it is watchable. The cast aren't up to much, tho to be fair to Lucas he is here playing a sports coach in a decade that is full of passion fuelled similar performances, but story wise it's a winning formula. Sountracking is great, as is the time spent on the court, tho it helps if you actually know something about basketball in the first place. The clichés are many, both in characterisations and those involving the sport, in fact it's very by the numbers, ultimately meaning it's an important story, but not an important movie.
Best viewed as entertainment only, and not, as Disney would like, as an historic snap-shot of down south 1966. 6/10