Where I Watched it: Paramount Plus
English Audio Description?: Yes
I’m sure that the creators of Fantasy Football would prefer I dive right into just how fantastic their film is. No. They don’t get that.
Today, we’re going to talk about the non-existent magical properties of lightning. Now, don’t get me wrong. lots of characters in films have been struck by lightning as a means for them to achieve whatever they need to achieve. Generally, it’s handled with some sort of reverence for the force of the lightning itself. You know, that pesky thing that tends to kill us regular folk who aren’t inside a movie. In the real world, lightning has yet to actually benefit anyone.
But, the team behind Fantasy Football relentlessly use lightning as a means to an end, which maybe I wouldn’t be so bothered with, if they handled it not like idiots, and if this wasn’t a Nickelodeon movie. So, a movie aimed at kids actually has a sequence where its main character is running around outside holding her console up to the sky trying to get struck by lightning. i feel like this is the first thing I need to talk about when talking about this film, because it likely will be something parents will remind their young ones not to do. Don’t take the XBOX out into the thunderstorm and expect to be able to control Lebron.
The first time, the lightning is just this slight inconvenience. it doesn’t even knock anyone on the ground. it just kind of pauses the conversation. That’s it. They could have at least had him knocked out for a second, or at least to the ground, something. But, all that happens is a rather half hearted “Are you OK?” And he just finishes the conversation he was having.
You want to know what kind of film this is? I think that really says it all, doesn’t it?
on the audio description side, I’ve talked about some other films that seem to take a direct interest in getting the sport or art right that is happening, by using terminology that fans or former participants would be familiar with. In the football sequences here, despite having the full blessing of the NFL and Madden, the actual football plays themselves are described in a way that lets me know they didn’t care to figure out how to bring in football fans. Which is odd, because listening to sports, with really good announcers, is actually something we can still do. It’s not as fun, but people used to listen to games over the radio for years. There really is no excuse.
Marcy Martin is predictably great in this, like she is in everything she ever does. She slays even when the material is weak. So, this young girl takes this whole film, with all of its brand integration, and carries it on her back. I think kids will enjoy the concept as most people do when thinking they can have some god like powers as a kid. It’s why that’s such a recurring theme. I even give it points for making this a female lead film, instead of trying to make it a boys club. Thank God, someone finally realized someone other than boys play video games, and that it’s totally plausible for a girl to be badass at Madden.
Honestly, if the film had just taken being struck by lightning with a bit more seriousness, I’d have less problems, and it would have scored higher. But considering there are two strikes and a third trying to be attempted, kids sometimes get the wrong idea from the media they consume. And when you slap Nickelodeon in front of something, you have at least a meager obligation to making sure that the content makes sense for kids.
It’s a film that if parents know what they’re getting themselves into, and trust their kids aren’t going to try and hold their Switch up during a thunderstorm, then there might be some whole family fun time here. The audio description could have played better toward football fans, but otherwise it’s fine. It’s kind of sad that the entire adult cast gets shown up by a child actress, even if that actress is a proven star.
Final Grade: C+