Forever Strong: The Greatest Victories are Born in the Heart (2008)

Posted: February 20, 2011 in Drama, Sport

Sometimes you must overcome your own barriers to find your path. For Rick Penning, he was on the fast track to a life of prison. After a drunk driving incident which left his girlfriend in the hospital, he is condemned to a facility and given an opportunity to play rugby for a squad with a completely different set of priorities. Each of the players commits to a lifestyle of respect, honor, honesty and modesty. Completely against his behaviors of play hard and showing no weakness, he struggles to make a connection with his new team and finds himself up against his old teammates and their coach, his father.

Starring: Sean Faris (Rick Penning), Julie Warner (Natalie Penning), Gary Cole (Coach Larry Gelwix), Sean Astin (Marcus Tate), Neal McDonough (Coach Richard Penning), Penn Badgley (Lars)

Sean Faris plays the central figure in this sports drama, struggling with challenges to his personality. He plays the role well with a true to life performance of working through his careless ways and finding a place with his new coach, played by Gary Cole. Representing Coach Gelwix, Cole maintains a stalwart presence with a confident representation of morality and good behavior. Neal McDonough serves as Rick’s father and coach of the opposing rugby team. Similar to his performance in Desperate Housewives, he plays the man you love to hate, though he presents his own struggles with being disconnecting from his time with Highland.

Many sports stories try to present a situation of a overcoming some sort of challenge or dilemma, as this one is truly about the dilemma of one’s own behaviors. This film did not get the same recognition in the theaters or even have much attention at all, mostly because it was about rugby instead of major American sports like football or basketball. In the end, there is not much more to this movie than most other dramatic sports films, but it does contain some good acting (with only a couple of moments being over the top).

This is an enjoyable film that delivers a positive message and keeps you engaged. It is definitely worth a look.

Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5

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