The Mighty Ducks (1992)

Movie Title: The Mighty Ducks

Year Released: 1992

Rated: PG

Runtime: 1h 44min

Genre: Sports, Comedy, Drama

Director: Stephen Herek

Writer: Steven Brill

Starring: Emilio Estevez, Joss Ackland, Lane Smith, Heidi Kling, Josef Sommer, Joshua Jackson, Elden Henson, Shaun Weiss, Brandon Adams, Matt Doherty, J.D. Daniels, Aaron Schwartz, Garette Ratliff Henson, Marguerite Moreau, Vincent Larusso, Jussie Smollett, Danny Tamberelli, Jane Plank

Review: After reckless young lawyer Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) gets arrested for drunk driving, he must coach a kids hockey team for his community service. Gordon has experience on the ice, but isn't eager to return to hockey, a point hit home by his tense dealings with his own former coach, Jack Reilly (Lane Smith). The reluctant Gordon eventually grows to appreciate his team, which includes promising young Charlie Conway (Joshua Jackson), and leads them to take on Reilly's tough players.

The Mighty Ducks will always hold a special place in my heart. It came out when I was three years old, and ultimately propelled me to a life as a hockey player a couple of years later. As a result, the Mighty Ducks movie trilogy will always be of sentimental value despite what the critics say.

This film is certainly formulaic. We've seen time and time again, a rag tag sports team/franchise overcoming the odds to climb to the top. I think where this movie really excels is its heart. Yes, the kids clear all kinds of hurdles from start to finish, going from being incapable of skating to a championship-level hockey team in a series of montages. But I think a lot of the heart here lies with Emilio Estevez's Gordon Bombay and Joshua Jackson's Charlie Conway. The Ducks allow Gordon Bombay to finally care about something other than himself. Gordon, a washed up hockey star in his own right, learns to love the game again, due in large part to his relationship with Charlie who has grown up without a father. Gordon sees himself in Charlie, and Charlie quickly becomes the heart and soul of the Ducks. There's a very heartwarming player-coach relationship here. The rest is just good, old-fashioned fun. Sure, it's cheesy and cliché, but I can't help but take a trip down memory lane each time I watch this movie. Memories come flooding back from my time as a youth hockey player, and to say I miss those days would be an understatement. Definitely watch this film, especially if you have kids who are interested in hockey. This movie is responsible for spawning many hockey players who grew up in the 90s. Not to mention a fun, heartwarming underdog story. And who doesn't love a good underdog?

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Charlie Sheen was offered for the role of Gordon Bombay, but turned it down and later on his brother, Emilio Estevez, took the role. Leonardo DiCaprio auditioned for the part of Charlie Conway but lost out to Joshua Jackson. In similar fashion, Juliette Lewis tried out for the part of Connie, but lost out to Marguerite Moreau.


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