Imagine watching the superbowl, it's a goal line stand with four seconds left
in the game. The tension is palpable as you clench and unclench your hands into
fists, waiting for the final play. Then, just as the play commences, you're
surrounded by blaring rap music and the screen suddenly cuts to a bunch of
people in the stands beating each other up. This seems to be the way Oliver
Stone pictures football. I'm sure some will call his filming ideas here moden
and innovative, but I think obnoxious is a more fitting adjective. Stone's idea
of direction seems to involve the camera never sitting still for more than two
seconds at a time, and never allowing people to speak without pounding music
accompanying them which drowns out all that they say.
The Miami Sharks are having a terrible season. Led by head coach Tony D'Amato
(Al Pacino) and aging quarterback Cap Rooney (Dennis Quaid), they've lost their
past four games. The team's owner has just passed away and left things in the
hands of his money grubbing daughter, Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz).
Chistina wants to permanently bench Cap after he is injured, and place third
stringer Willie Beaman (Jamie Foxx) at the head of the team. The problem is,
the team doesn't much respect Beaman despite his skills. Tony tries desperately
to bring the team back together as everything he has worked to build crumbles
After watching this film, something interesting occured to me. I haven't
enjoyed a single movie which LL cool J (playing the team's star running back
here) has appeared in, yet I've found his performance in each of his films to
be rather entertaining. The man is not without talent, but he doesn't seem
capable of selecting a good film to appear in. As for the rest of the cast,
they most likely would have performed well if it weren't for some of the worst
dialogue ever written. Then again, I'm only assuming that all the dialogue was
terrible. I couldn't hear half of it because the "music" was playing so loudly.
On those rare occasions when the film actually tries to deliver a message,
we're interrupted by a cutaway to clouds moving across the sky or something
I always try to point out the good qualities in every film I see, but I'm hard
pressed to do so here. Lawrence Taylor, the hall of famer shows up playing the
team's linebacker and actually turns in one of the film's better performances.
James Woods shows up in what amounts to little more than a cameo as the team
doctor, and Charleton Heston is seen briefly playing the commisioner. The final
game of the movie is vaguely interesting, despite being incredibly predictable.
That about does it for the good points here. The remainder of the film is
composed of pointless pop culture references, music videos and inane speeches.
"Any Given Sunday" runs insanely long at 162 minutes. Don't worry though, you
won't fall asleep because the music will constantly be pounding in your ears.
I'd recommend the film only if you're a die hard fan of either Oliver Stone or
Al Pacino, although Pacino appears rather embarassed to be in this movie. The
movie contains a rather amusing little twist at the very end, but it's shown
during the credits. Good luck staying through the rest of the film to catch it.
I give "Any Given Sunday" one and a half stars and a recommendation to stay
far, far away.
Feel free to e-mail with comments at: JABII@aol.com
* * * * * - One of the greatest movies ever made, see it now.
* * * * - Great flick. Try and catch this one.
* * * - Okay movie, hits and misses.
* * - Pretty bad. See it if you've got nothing better to do.
* - One of the worst movies ever. See it only if you enjoy pain.
Copyright © 2000 John Beachem