Gridiron Gang (12A)

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The Independent Culture

Gridiron Gang is a stack of underdog sports movie clichés almost as mountainous as its leading man, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. It's "based on the TRUE STORY", as the opening credits put it, of a probation officer at a Californian juvenile detention camp who instils a sense of discipline and teamwork into his charges by training them to play American football. It's as corny as can be, from the training montages to the climactic big game, but it's all so well-meaning that it crashed through my defences like a quarterback at full tilt. Besides, it finishes with clips from the documentary which inspired the film, and these demonstrate that the most hackneyed moments came directly from real life.