If you are a very good high school football player in the United States, the odds of you getting to play in College are 5%. If you are a very good football player in College, your odds of being drafted into the NFL are only 1%. If you get to play in the NFL the average career is less than 3 years. During those 3 years, you hope you don’t have any long term pain or CTE – a brain injury that is caused by frequent blows to the head over a long period of time. The odds of longevity in the NFL are very long then add the unlikely odds of even getting to the NFL in the first place. All of this makes the incredible true story of Quarterback Kurt Warner in the new movie “American Underdog” that much more unbelievable.
It is highly unlikely that anyone who ever made it to the NFL, much less the NFL Hall of Fame, MVP of the league and the Super Bowl ever had a more unlikely and difficult road than Kurt Warner did – in any professional sport. the new movie “American Underdog” is all about the dues and injustice Warner faced when he left college, when nobody wanted him, nobody wanted to even give him a chance. Warner played 4 years in semi pro Football, followed by 4 years of Arena Football before a miracle happened and he was drafted by the Rams. After an injury to the starting quarterback, Warner got his shot and made the most of it – winning the Super Bowl and league MVP in his first year. There is no doubt about it, this is one amazing story.
This movie is also about the relationship between Kurt Warner and his wife Brenda, who was a divorced mother of two children, one of them brain damaged and blind due to an injury during infancy. Like all relationships they had their problems over the years, mostly due to money problems, where at one point Kurt was stacking cans at a local super market. The couple also had to move in with her parents for a time just to survive. This movie does a great job of making your root for Kurt Warner who is as likeable in real life as an MVP quarterback as he was during this film, so well played by Zachary Levi. Warner’s wife Brenda is very well played by Anna Paquin.
While watching this unbelievable sports story, I wondered why it took so long to come to the screen, considering that Warner retired from the NFL in 2009.
The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for this great sports film are a too low 77%. My rating is a high 95% with my highest recommendation.