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Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Retro Review: Little Giants (1994)

Little Giants
Cast: Rick Moranis, Ed O'Neill, Shawna Waldron, Susanna Thompson, Devon Sawa, Brian Haley 
Genre: Family Sports Comedy
U.S Box Office Gross: over $19 million

Plot: A successfully retired jock and his geeky brother play out their sibling rivalry by coaching rival little league football teams

'Formulaic Pee-Wee Kids Sports Flick That Doesn't Break Any Ground'

An underdog family sports-themed comedy, as cliched and predictable as it is, Little Giants is one of the slightly better, as well as fewer American football films that remains entertaining. Even though it won't set the world alight and the film's outcome is predictable & the story becomes mundane. Little Giants stands out somewhat as it focuses more on pee wee football played by adolescents and kids, instead of grown men & the plot throws in a girl player, who wows the guys with her skills.

Little Giants comes via Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and sees a bunch of outcast kids, who after being rejected, form their own team. As ever with these sports movies, they score big in the NFL- style action and sports play, yet everything else is second nature.

Two brothers, Kevin and Danny O'Shea couldn't be any more different from each other: in Kevin, he was the athletic type who was blessed with such gridiron skills, whilst with geeky Danny, he wasn't. Later on, Kevin grows up and becomes a car dealer & single dad Danny works as at a petrol/gas station. When Danny's daughter, Becky is passed over for selection by her uncle & Danny's brother, Kevin, whilst trying out for a local pee wee team - despite being the best player in the team -, because she is a girl, Becky aka ''The Icebox'', with the approval of her dad, form their own football team made up of kids, who are deemed not good enough to make it for various reasons. Together, they take on an established team, formed by Kevin and to win through skill, determination, heart and a bit of luck on their side too, as the two teams fight it out in a playoff game to determine who will become the town's one and only team. 

If you have ever seen a Mighty Ducks movie or more specifically the first Mighty Ducks film, then the Little Giants is the same film, only replace the NHL and ice hockey with NFL and (American) football. Mix in The Little Rascals and what you have is a sports flick aimed at youngsters and families where comedy and laughs resort to silly fart and snot bubbles gags. The story itself is generic, but also mediocre and not entertaining to sit through and it is just way too reliant on being predictable. 

Whereas though Moranis and Married With Children's O'Neil are the star names, they are given little to do. Yet in Moranis, his performance comes across as more natural and restrained than he is in the other films he has starred in, which was nice to see. The tentative romance between Moranis's Danny & a former flame & mother of one is underdeveloped, whilst the other romance involving Becky and one of the other players in the team becomes sappy and unwarranted. 

After a good start, Little Giants eventually becomes formulaic and the story loses its way that I grew tired of it, although as a kids film, it is something the children won't be too concerned or worried about, as the film still operates at their level. It's a bit of a shame as, especially with the good American football scenes, there is a good movie lying in here somewhere, yet the writers don't seem fit to unleash it. 


Final Verdict:

Aside from the fart jokes and some sight gags, the film and the story feels all too average that there is just not enough in it for me to really get onboard with this effort. Little Giants is decent at best and makes a bit more of an effort than say The Best of Times, but this has nothing on Wildcats and Rick Moranis and Ed O'Neil deserved a meatier & less corny script.


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