Archive for the ‘Any Given Sunday’ Category

Any Given Sunday

When I first saw Any Given Sunday almost 20 years ago I was completely indifferent on it.  I thought it was a bad take on the NFL.  20 years later though I see it as a film that is actually ahead of its time as a sports film that has tapped in to the problems that the NFL is now seeing.  The issues of CTE are at the forefront of the film, before these issues were even widely known.  The film dives in to these issues without making them the main focus of the film.

It’s a film that feels like it exists in a parallel universe.  A universe where maybe the XFL reigns supreme.  The teams are fictional and everything surrounding the league feels sensationalized.  Which is what makes the film work on some level.

Any Given Sunday for the most part stays away from the stereotype of hanging its hat on the “let’s win it all!” trope.  It focuses on the characters and their dilemmas within their specific roles.  Al Pacino gives an amazing performance as coach D’Amato.  He’s aged and lost his instinct as a coach.  It’s almost a “No Country For Old Men’ scenario.  Out with the old and in with the new.  And not just him, but also aging QB Cap (Dennis Quaid).  Jamie Foxx also gives what I believe to be one of his first dramatic performances as the emerging QB set to take over the team and revolutionize the game.

Any Given Sunday definitely isn’t Stones best, but on further view it plays better 20 years later.  It’s a film that taps in to serious issues we see today in the NFL, and is an interesting character study within one of the most watched sports in the world.

Grade: B+