American Underdog in review

The cover for American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story. As of now, the movie has hit the box office, making 6 million dollars on its opening weekend.

The cover for American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story. As of now, the movie has hit the box office, making 6 million dollars on its opening weekend.

Gabe Graber, staff writer

On Christmas Day in 2021, American Underdog debuted in theaters. It has all the elements of a good sports movie: an athlete that isn’t the most talented but is the hardest worker, a small town in Iowa, a love story and a happy ending. It is like so many movies before it in that way. There are three particular scenes that really defined the movie and made it better. The first scene is the scene where Kurt Warner gets his initial call from an NFL team: the Green Bay Packers. The second scene is when Rams head coach Dick Vermeil has a conversation with Warner telling him he is the starting quarterback. The third scene is when Warner’s fiance, Brenda, gives him a pep talk in the locker room before his first start for the St. Louis Rams, which led to a long NFL career with the Rams (winning the Super Bowl in 200) as well as the New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals. These scenes are not all the most important, but they did make the movie better. 

The first scene is when Warner gets his first call from the Green Bay Packers. It starts out with Warner sitting at a dinner table eating supper with his grandparents after the NFL Draft, where he went undrafted. His grandfather asks, “How do you think the Bears will do this year?” He mumbled something in response before asking, “What is this about? Did they call me?” 

“No,” the grandfather says, “but the Packers did.” What followed was some of the best emotion by Warner in the whole movie. He is all smiles hearing about his signing bonus and getting a new green truck, and Warner tells everyone he sees, “It’s green for the Packers!” which adds comedy to the movie. It is just a good scene because it taps into the joy that players get when they get drafted into the NFL. 

The second scene that is most important for the movie is Ram’s head coach Dick Vermeil talks with Warner, telling him he will be the starting quarterback. His reason? “There’s something special about you, and I’m excited to find out what it is,” said Vermeil.  At the time, the Rams were having a quarterback battle after former starting quarterback Trent Green suffered a season ending injury.  Warner promises Vermeil that he won’t let him down. After all the work Warner had done in the arena football league with the Iowa Barnstormers plus working nights at HyVee. In reality, conversations like this rarely happen, but this scene needed to be Hollywoodized to make the movie better. 

The final key scene of the movie is when Brenda talks to Warner before his first start for the Rams, which they were expected to lose in their season opener. Somehow, she found her way into the locker room after the rest of the team went out on the field. Her pep talk included one of the most famous quotes. 

“Go out there and show the world what I’ve known all along,” she said. The quote nicely summarizes Warner’s whole season, which ended with Warner as the Super Bowl champion and Most Valuable Player. The scene was a pivotal time in the movie, because after that, everything started to get better. That is why the scene really makes the movie better, even though parts of it potentially didn’t happen exactly as they were shown. 

All in all, it is exactly what viewers who know the story should expect. It is a classic underdog story that was destined for the big screen, and the three scenes above define it. I would recommend it to anyone.