@ the Movies: Kicking and Screaming

Will Ferrell in Universal Pictures' Kicking & Screaming

Will Ferrell has a gift for falling down, making faces and talking in strange ways. In this film to showcase his comedic gifts, he is teamed up with Robert Duvall who plays Ferrell's character's father and Mike Ditka as Mike Ditka. Stir in a cast of cute kids ...

The Tigers (with Elliott Cho , Steven Anthony Lawrence and Dylan McLaughlin ) in Universal Pictures' Kicking & Screaming

... and a story about father's and son's and an underdog team and you have yourself a comedy with a good heart.

The premise of the film has Duvall and Ferrell as the gruff athletic father and the goofy non-athletic son. Duvall coaches the soccer team of his son from a second marriage while Ferrell coaches his son on another team. Ferrell gets it into his head to try to beat his father and enlists Ditka for help and comedy ensues.

The film is often over the top with exaggerated action and dialog but that is the whole fun of it as it pokes fun at sport movie cliche moments, suburban family life and a running gag on the perils of coffee drinking.

Critics may raise their noses at the film and sniff, "It is formulaic and unoriginal."

To which I say, why do we watch sports?

At its core, sports is hitting a ball, kicking a ball or throwing a ball within the parameters of the rules of the game. Nothing original at all about that. But what makes sports interesting is how the particular players play out that particular game.

In this movie, Ferrell's zany charm and physical humor gifts work very well and had our audience laughing out loud. Duvall and Ditka are terrific. And just got to love the kids.

I would also venture to say that some fathers and sons who see the film might find their hearts tugged at during some of the nice cross-generational moments in the film.

Kicking and Screaming is, as I say earlier, a comedy with a good heart, and it scores in meeting its gooooooooooooaaaaaaaallllllllll! Sorry, I couldn't resist.

2.5 stars out of 4 and a thumbs up from Rene's Rambling Reviews.

Disclosure: I saw the film at a pre-release screening for press and listeners of KIIS-FM and I was a guest of Grace Hill Media.

Image source: Yahoo! Movie Production Stills web page.