With only an average rating of 18% on rotten tomatoes, The Mighty Ducks doesn’t seem to have a lot to live up to, and yet I can only think of the movie with fondness. Released in 1992, this movie represents the perfect 90s feel-good film that includes a balance of slapstick comedy and Disney drama. The film follows a powerhouse lawyer (Emilio Estevez) sentenced to community service, being assigned the seemingly hopeless task of coaching a young, inept hockey team. Immediately, this example is set apart from your average sports film with ice hockey often replaced by the more typically filmed American Football.
An apparently predictable plot, but a great one all the same
Although The Mighty Ducks cannot boast any awards, it undoubtedly won the hearts of its young target audience, as well as older viewers who would have remembered Estevez’s debut in The Breakfast Club. This film is certainly worth a watch due to its delivery of personal questions through action-packed scenes, as well as the attachment it allows you to form for the characters. You find you become emotionally invested in the boys’ journey until you reach an ending of personal triumph as Estevez’s character trades his arrogance for humility and the squad finally taste success from working as a united team. An apparently predictable plot, but a great one all the same.
23 years later Creed was released, and sure enough this film offered quite the upgrade in terms of acting, cinematography and drama, as expected with 95% on rotten tomatoes. Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), son of former heavyweight boxing champion Apollo Creed, attempts to follow his father’s footsteps under the training of the long retired Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). Creed is a movie that pays tribute to the 1970s Rocky franchise, while also being a standalone film so viewers like myself can fully appreciate it without being proficient in Rocky lore.
The film provides adrenaline-fueled scenes that have you on the edge of your seat, as you follow Creed’s archetypal journey from a youth detention centre in LA, to the boxing club of Philadelphia, and finally the big fight in Liverpool. When watching, you are given a climatic experience of intense training, love, loss, and joy that you feel emotionally wrung, and that excludes the fight scenes. With intimate angles and immersive audio, you can see the sweat drip off the fighters’ backs, hear them panting and the ringing in their ears; the boxing matches are so well shot you could be in the ring with the actors. Creed is without doubt one of my top sports films for many reasons, some of which can only be revealed through watching the movie itself.