Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Wednesday Review: The Mighty Ducks

Ah childhood, how I miss thee. When the most one had to worry about was getting your homework done and making sure you didn’t touch girls because you’d get cooties. We’d spend our free time indoors playing video games, or outdoors playing various sporting activities. During the winter season hockey was the sport us kids played, nothing as good as a good old game of puck. And what was more inspiring for a group of hockey playing kids than a movie about a group of hockey playing kids that won the Pee-Wee Championships. The Mighty Ducks and its sequels were always movies I enjoyed to watch while I was growing up, so today’s review will be of the first movie in the series.
The Mighty Ducks title card.

Review after the break. 

The opening sequence is a flashback scene to when the main character, Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) was a kid and playing for the Pee-Wee team The Hawks. His coach is putting a lot of pressure on him to make the winning goal of the series, he makes his shot, but it hits the goalpost and they lose not only the game, but the championship as well. Flash-forward to the present day. Gordon Bombay is now a hot-shot lawyer who manages to keep a man out of jail when he should have gone there. We’re then treated to a scene about an egotistic, swaggering, showboating man who takes pride in always winning his cases no matter how low he has to sink to do so. Luckily for us his boss puts him in line telling him it’s a business, not a game. So what does our fine lead character do next? He goes out drinking! And driving too! He’s also an alcoholic! Wonderful times!

So Bombay has to go to court for a series of offences to the system. His boss steps in because he doesn’t want his company’s name ruined and he forces Bombay to follow his orders. Suspension of driver’s licence, 500 hours of community service, and a leave of absence from the firm. It may seem like it’ll kill him, but hey, at least we get some hockey time out of it.

Finally we meet the kids, or at least, a group of them. Charlie, Averman, and a couple kids that never show up in future movies but seem to be pretty big in this one, are, apparently, juvenile delinquents, and decide that pulling pranks on random people is a good way to pass the time. Lots of kids did that back in the day; it only made the film more appealing.

So Bombay hates kids ... my what a lovely time these kids will have.

So why exactly would a team keep a kid as a goalie all this time if he was afraid to get hit by the puck? Why not get a new goalie?
Only one loss for the Hawks.

Drive out on the ice? Well at least he knows what he’s doing.

*sniff* *sniff* GOLBERG!

The Hawks are pretty intense players for being, what, ten?

To think, the Hawks only lost the championship once ... and it’s all Bombay’s fault.

Why does the main opposing team always wear black? I mean yeah it’s a symbol of evil and junk, but seriously, it gets old.

It’s been 20 years and his old coach hasn’t aged a day! The miracles of science!

And Fulton comes to watch the game ... cause he can’t skate.

Seriously, how did this team last so long? No equipment, no uniforms, no arena practice time. This team should have been disbanded years ago!

Oooooo, racist jokes ... not cool.

Hey it’s Irv from Everwood! Not that anybody’s ever seen that show ... it was an awesome show ... watch it.

“You think loosing is funny?!”
“Well, not at first, but once you get the hang of it...”
Averman, you’ve got the best lines.

Averman wise cracks instead of playing hockey.
Hans appears ... this film is full of mysterious characters. First Fulton, who isn’t properly explained, now Hans, who also isn’t properly explained. Gotta say, the script is well written.

This kids always wear their Hawks jackets around town ... they’re like high school football players ... and their bullies too ... even more stereotypical!

And Fulton saves them from the bullies! Is he important? Well even if I’d never seen the movie before I’d know he was an important character who would become a top player on the team.

Awesome! Bombay’s teaching them how to cheat! Just what we need kids to learn!

Charlie put Bombay in his place!

There’s nothing like a trip down memory lane to bring back the good memories and make one decide to turn around in life and start acting like a mature, responsible adult.

So Bombay wants Ducksworth to pay for the team’s equipment and what-not. He originally declines, but he changes his mind when he’s offered his own jersey. Really shows how stable our system is. Well, I guess it’s not mine, I don’t live in the U.S. What do I care?!
Quack, quack, quack, QUACK! Mr. Ducksworth!

Ah yes, some classic lines that I enjoy repeating all the time. Soft hands. Concentration, not strength. How true those words can be.

Emilio Estevez is a terrible hockey player! Every puck he shoots flies right over the net! They may have picked a good actor for the role, but not a good player.

“No I mean I can’t you moron! I don’t know how to skate!” Man, the kids in this film really tear into Bombay. Man do I miss the 90s.

You know, I’m pretty sure that rollerblading in a mall is not allowed.

For not knowing how to skate, Fulton is pretty good. I mean he just went down the stairs on rollerblades and didn’t fall down once! That’s pretty good! I’d fall a few times, and I know  how to skate!

Yeah Fulton! First one to want to be a duck! He’s got that sense of loneliness about that makes him want to be part of a team. Plus he’s got that awesome shot. Best character of the movies.

Quack. Quack. Quack. Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, QUACK, QUACK, QUACK, QUACK, QUACK! GOOOOOOO DUCKS!

“You’re not even a ‘has been’. You’re a ‘never was’.” Man, I didn’t know that line came from this movie! That’s a great line!

Bombay apologises and becomes one of the family!
How touching
Okay, so I’ve watched all three of these movies countless times. I know what all the slang terms they use mean. Except one. What the hell is a “cake eater”?

And the only people who stick by Bombay’s side after Jesse and that one kid hear him say that they’re losers are Fulton and Charlie. And that’s why they’re the best characters.

Charlie has unquavering faith in people. That’s what makes him a good captain and a compelling character. He definitely stands out above the others for this.

I’m pretty sure the principal is one of the teachers in the third Mighty Ducks movie. She’s like Mr. Feeny ... only nowhere near as awesome.

Have you ever read the newspaper clippings they show in the film? I suggest you should. It’s not just random garbage they write there.

In the scene where the kids are just having some fun on the ice, right after they meet a couple players from the North Stars, do you think the camera operator is just skating around on the ice filming everything? Cause that’s kinda what it looks like.

How do you overcome a fear of being hit by pucks?
Tie him to a net!
Do those movie moments where the couple kiss and it’s magical and junk actually happen in real life and I just have terrible luck? Or is this just, like, a movie thing?

That’s the third time they’ve showed that flashback scene. Clearly Bombay’s past is still fighting him on the inside. Will he become that man who put him on this path? Or will he overcome the pressure and be a greater man?

You know who a cooler figure skater is than that Tammy chick? Kenny Wu from the second film. Way better.

Wow ... the Flying V doesn’t appear until an hour and a half into the film, in other words, when there’s only ten minutes left. Totally thought it appeared before then.

Wow ... all these times watching this movie and this is the first time I’ve noticed Guy and Connie kiss after winning the game.
Hans and Bombay.

Overall a really great movie. The script was well written, except for Bombay’s sudden change of heart about halfway through; that sudden change didn’t add up with the character. The movie was entertaining with lots of great moments that kids would enjoy. It had a nice soundtrack with some memorable musical moments that suck through all the movies. The film had some good morals that kids and adults alike could learn from. There was nothing spectacular about the shots however, nor was there a lot of depth into the smaller characters. But over all a really fun movie worth watching.

8/10 just for the nostalgia of it. (I’d probably say 7 if it wasn’t a favourite from my childhood) And for God’s sake, soft hands.


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