Movie Review – Home Team (2022)

Go team, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of this family friendly Netflix comedy.

Based on a true story, this film stars Kevin James as Sean Payton, a New Orleans Saints football coach who, after being suspended for a year in the wake of the bounty scandal (players offered cash prizes for injuring other players on purpose) reconnects with his estranged son by coaching his junior high school football team.

Connor’s (the aforementioned son’s) team is the worst in the league, regularly causing the scoreboard to be shut down out of pity because it just doesn’t seem right when the opposing teams score so high when they barely get on the board. When Payton, just initially sitting on the sidelines as a Dad, offers a bit of advice that leads to their (literally) very first touchdown ever, the kids celebrate wildly.

Payton is recruited by Coach Troy (Taylor Lautner of Twilight fame) to be an assistant, though as a pro NFL coach, he runs it all, pushing the kids to be their best, but having to figure out how to straddle the line between winning and remembering these are only 12 year olds who can only be pushed so far and all the pressure takes away the fun.

This is an Adam Sandler produced film, with his wife Jackie starring as Payton’s ex and a Sandler son starring as a hotel clerk who drives Payton nuts. Sandler has apparently found a home on Netflix as his brand of comedy, once edgy in the 1990s, has become family friendly fare today.

STATUS: Shelf worthy. Typical sports film where an outsider comes in to shake a team of losers up and turn them into winners. My main criticism is the film kind of glosses over whether Payton was responsible for the bounty scandal, if he got a raw deal, or something in between. It goes into how he was embarrassed by it but it never answers the question of if he was unfairly accused and thus outraged or if he was fairly accused and thus learned his lesson. There is a brief moment where he says he was in charge so he has to take responsibility so I guess there’s that. If he’s responsible, should he get a tribute film? I don’t know…but if you’re looking for a mildly funny movie to watch with the fam, you could do worse than this.

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