R 106min 1999
“Varsity Blues” is about one high school Texan footballer player’s rise from the shadow of his friend to the star quarterback. He’s now faced with the pressures and politics of and overbearing coach, town, while trying to do the right thing.
A starring vehicle for James Van Der Beek, this is an instant classic. This not only a good football film with the great drama of “All the Right Moves”. Brian Robbins, from “Head of the Class” fame one of his first times directing has become a powerhouse in televisions and movies. His created portray of an high school footballer’s life has been emulated several times through the years.
The drama on and off the field is some what exaggerated but nonetheless the stuff that happens. Winning athletic programs are treated like rock stars even in my town. Years after teams have one a championship people still talk about them as if they are mythical legends such as Beowulf. It’s these types of pressures that these athlete face and that can sometimes crumb them. This is at the heart of this film.
A backup quarterback flying under the radar, thrust into the limelight, and the pressure of being the one to lead a team. Everything rides on your decisions and at the core is a coach that only focus is winning championships, no matter the cost. Robbins shines a light on how easy sports can become bastardize and raped. It’s a film that the MTV generation can relate to.
More of a dramatization than fact, “Varsity Blues” opened the door to more football films that showed the darker side of high school football like “Friday Night Lights.” Even with the fact that its more of a dramatization its still an entertaining film, and not to just the football fans.
This is the film that brought us the whipped cream bikini and made Ali Larter a household name. This is the film that made you think what that hot teacher did as a second job and ‘Who she go to prom with you?’. It tells a story that is relatable not just to athletes but also to parents. Jon Voight gives a great performance that is revered by the community but is as sinister as the anti-Christ.
I give it 4/5.