Remember the Titans (2000)

REMEMBER THE TITANS is a sunny, soft-edged, racial integration drama 
about high-school football in the early Seventies.  Or is a high-scho-
ol football drama about racial integration?  Either way, this predict-
able-but-pleasantly-so period pic stars Denzel Washington as a newly 
hired assistant coach at a newly integrated Virginia school.  Arriving
at the start of summer training, he unexpectedly swaps spots with his 
boss (Will Patton) and much to the chagrin (chafrown?) of the team's
white players.  And their parents...  And the school administrators... 
Denzel delivers another of his solid-to-the-Earth's-core performances,
though without the dramatic fireworks that might catch Oscar's eye.
Patton also excels, playing empty, square-jawed earnestness better
than anyone else in the movie.  His character's nine year-old daughter
is a scene-stealer, however.  Credit curly-locked cutie Hayden Panet-
tiere, whose the most photogenic presence here.  (The young actress
playing Washington's character's similarly aged daughter is damn ador-
able, as well.)  Equally appealing are the believable young actors who
head the initially conflicted football team.  Such as Wood Harris, 
Ryan Hurst, Donald Faison, and Craig Kirkwood.  There's even one or
two obligatory, fat-faced racists.  With crew cuts, of course.  (Gotta 
have those villains!)  Mind you, there isn't a *single* utterance of 
the n-word in this "PG"-rated Disney film.  Nor is the hatred particu-
larily raw.  Instead, the characters express "polite hate."  And that's 
perfectly in keeping with the stock situations of the story.  You know, 
a season to be won, an injured player to root for, some bullies to be 
taken down, etc.  Yawn, but Friday afternoon's audience seemed to like 
it.  Sure, some folks are gonna complain, calling it, say, a "whitewash 
of history" or a "black mark on the truth."  (Or both, lest they be la-
beled themselves!)  Eh, it if puts butts in the seats and maybe teaches 
a lesson, then so be it.  There are *far* less-redeeming films worth 
griping about.  (Rated "PG"/113 min.)

Grade: B

Copyright 2000 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: Football Scores

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros