GRIDIRON GANG: LEADER OF THE PACK
STEPHANIE M. WILSON
Glory Road. Coach Carter. Pride. All of these are moving films about sports. But Gridiron Gang is that and more. This movie sets itself apart by not just focusing on the sport but the kids and their rehabilitation. ‘The Rock’ is the heart of the film as Coach Sean Porter.
Sean Porter (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) is a counselor at a juvenile detention center. He is tired of seeing his kids being released and either being killed or ending up back in the detention center. He decides to form a football team so the kids can play. Malcolm Moore (Xzibit) is his second in command. Along the way they run into obstacles. Lack of funding. Finding a team for the kids to play. Gang rivalry. But they don’t let that deter them. They teach the kids hard work, discipline and self worth.
The film is based on a true story. During the film credits you see documentary footage of the kids and the real Sean Porter. The story is inspiring. You will root for these kids to win. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is caring and tough as Coach Sean Porter. He shows Porter’s flaws, making him even more likeable. Xzibit is good as his backup. The kids are real, not just screw-up that are all bad. They have never been shown that they can make something of themselves. You see joy on their faces when they receive their football uniforms. The football scenes show these boys working their issues out. Coach Porter shows Willie Weathers (Jade Yorker) that he can accomplish what he wants with hard work in one scene that will have you laughing and cheering.
More footage of the documentary on the real Sean Porter and kids would have given the film more authenticity.
Gridiron Gang is a movie about football and how it counseled a group of juvenile delinquents. It shows them that they don’t have to go back out on the streets. It will affect you the way those other films haven’t. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s charisma works like a charm.