Who’d have thought Gatorade would bring me to my next review? Yes, a journey to my local Kroger to stock up on Gatorade lead me to the 2006 picture “The Final Season” neatly stacked in the $4.99 bin. A bargain for my next Friday night in of baseball movie analysis. What would the appeal factors be of such a good buy?
The words “based on true story” and the actor name dropping of Sean Astin and Powers Boothe added to the bargain factor.
A little synopsis before my take on the movie: Based on a true story in the small town of Norway, Iowa, in the early ’90s. The continuously successful high school baseball team has won 19 state championships, led by the legendary coach Jim Van Scoyoc (Powers Boothe). When talk of a school merger arises, the team fears the loss of its 20th championship win. Coach Scoyoc is fired, and replaced with Kent Stock, former Norway High baseball player. Kent (played by Astin) is determined and driven to see the last season of this team mark its 20th championship … and, as for the remainder of the synopsis, making a likely prediction or watching the movie is your best bet.
Mediocre would be my take away after watching this film. The story is inspirational and memorable, but the flow, and even some of the acting talent, was predictable. Even before watching this movie, one would already know the outcome. This true story would not have become “The Final Season” without an eventful happy ending. The cast also includes Tom Arnold, Rachel Leigh Cook and Michael Angarano, and all give so-so performances. I appreciate actors who have enough passion for the game of baseball to produce/act in a true story about the drive in those who share the same passions, but the level of acting seemed a bit too choreographed to be believable.
Scenes of the young athletes at practice appear to be more realistic, which was a positive. The realism effects make the movie more relatable and believable rather than some fluke. David Mickey Evans, who also directed “The Sandlot,” is to be given a gold star for his well-done job directing this movie.
Overall, my take on this movie is bittersweet. An amazing story, with an expected conclusion.