It's Just a Bruise
Any Given Sunday
Review by Ross Anthony

This is a hardcore football flick, not some mushy tale with football as a backdrop. All American football all the time. So if you're not fond of the sport, don't let your date take you. Even for those of us who like football - it borders on the excessive.

What an incredible pace Oliver Stone delivers for 2 hours and 45 minutes, impressive. The film is an MTV collage of sport, drama, and music. His fast cuts, Hi-def digi-vid field shots and special effects put you into the dangerous parts of the game; the dark side, where bones and spirits get broken. Off the field, the action is still the same, ego's collide like helmets.

Al Pacino plays Coach Tony Demata who can't separate life from the game - nor can Oliver Stone. Like Tony's life, the film is all hardcore football.

Great acting, Jamie Foxx as QB Willie Beaman does a great job, but a stereotypical play to make this 3rd-stringer turn hot shot into an in-your-face vanity case is too fast and beneath the quality of the production. I would have liked to have seen more complexity to that move. Additionally, a scene that should have been the climax is cut short. Pacino faces Diaz (owner) in the locker room closet - it's the all out fight we've been waiting for ... and it's just starting to rock. But it gets cut short of blossoming, leaving the climax to fall into a cliché coach's speech to the team before the big game. That was fine, just could have been much better.

In an effort to make QB Beamen less predictable and more loveable - he vomits in the limelight - it's a good quirk that works.

A strong B+.

  • Any Given Sunday. Copyright © 1999. Rated R.
  • Starring Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, Dennis Quaid, Jim Brown, Ann Margaret.
  • Directed by Oliver Stone
  • Screenplay by Oliver Stone based on novel by Rob Huizenga
  • Produced by Somebody at Some Production Company.


Copyright © 1999. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:21:31 PDT