A clunky high school football film inspired by the 2009 season of the Abilene Eagles (Abilene, Texas), “Under the Stadium Lights” Appears aimed at viewers who already know the results, rivalries and highlights. Occasional clips from the original games are presented with so little context that they seem designed to jog memories rather than advance the drama.
Some sports movies give inspirational speeches; “Under the Stadium Lights” considers Platitude as the main event. The character of Chad Mitchell (Milo Gibson, a son of Mel), a police officer and pastor of the team – and off-camera, the producer of the film and the author of the book on which it is based – leads the players to “talk about”. invites to. The stuff that “they” can’t talk about at home, a device that ensures a steady stream of outpourings to cut for director Todd Randall.
Some characters get enough screen time to register, like Ronell Sims (Carter Redwood), the quarterback, and his cousin Herschel Sims (Acori White), a running mate whose parents aren’t always around. Augustine Barrientes (Jermaine Arroyo), a linebacker known as Boo, resists joining a gang, while the selfless Chad learns to find time for his family. Despite major billing, Lawrence Fishburne has only a peripheral role as the barbecue joint owner who watches the climactic game from a hospital bed.
The most spectacular lines go to Coach Warren (Glenn Morshower), who seizes a metaphor and explains to Chad why he thinks trucks have bigger windshields than rearview mirrors: to let people focus on the present. For and not on the past. “If we keep our thoughts in the windshield of life,” he says, “we’re going to do fine.”
under stadium lights
Rated PG-13. Talk about drug dealing and drug use. Running time: 1 hour 49 minutes. In theaters and available to rent or buy Apple TVhandjob Google Play and other streaming platforms and pay TV operators.