“The Replacements”, The Story of Professional Football Players in the NFL Every Athlete Always Dreams of a Second Chance
The Replacements is a film that was released in 2000 and can now be watched on HBO Max. The film was directed by Howard Deutch and written by Vince McKewin. The Replacements stars Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman, Brooke Langton, Rhys Ifans, Jon Favreau and Jack Warden.
This film tells the story of the struggle of substitute players at the American football club, Washington Sentinels to replace their professional players who are on strike. Jack Warden (Edward O’Neil) as the owner of the club calls the coach, Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman) to recruit and train several substitute players so that the match continues and takes his club through the play-offs. McGinty also recruited replacement players with very contrasting backgrounds from the athlete profession.
He recruits an inmate, Earl Wilkerson (Michael Jace); SWAT cop Daniel Bateman (Jon Favreau); a sumo wrestler, Jumbo (Ace Yonamine); a priest (Troy Winbush); and much more. Not to be missed, he also included former star American football player at the collegiate level, Shane Falco (Keanu Reaves) to fill the position of Quarter Back.
In 1987, the professional football players in the United States NFL (National Football League) went on strike. The strike of the players was a headache for the club management, because many pre-season tickets had been sold.
Club fans and supporters will certainly be disappointed if a match for which they have purchased tickets is suddenly cancelled. Inevitably, several clubs were forced to look for replacement players until they found an agreement with professional players.
The strike action of the pro NFL players is the basic idea of the film The Replacements (2000). Starring Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman, The Replacements is a very entertaining film, it’s not boring to watch it over and over again.
This film tells the story of the struggles of the substitute players at the Washington Sentinels club who led their club to qualify for the play-offs. With his professional players taking part in the strike, club owner Jack Warden (Edward O’Neil) recalls former coach Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman) to recruit and coach some of the substitutes to keep the games going.
Jimmy agreed, with special conditions; he is free to choose his players, there should be no intervention from anyone. The club owner, who is already annoyed with his professional players, agrees to Jimmy’s terms. With 4 games remaining in regular matches, the Washington Sentinels need 3 wins to advance to the play-offs.
Jimmy then called in and coached a very mixed line-up of substitutes. There are two rapper guard brothers, Andre Jackson (Michael Taliferro) and Jamal Jackson (Faison Love); inmate Earl Wilkerson (Michael Jace); Police from the ruthless SWAT Team, Daniel Bateman (Jon Favreau) and a sumo wrestler who likes to eat boiled eggs, Jumbo (Ace Yonamine).
Jimmy also adds deaf Brian (David Denman) to his team; Nigel Gruff (Rhys Ifans), a former footballer for Cardif, Wales who always smokes; Clifford Franklin (Orlando Jones), a shopkeeper who runs very fast but can’t catch the ball; as well as a pastor (Troy Winbush). For the all-important quarter back position, Jimmy recalls former college football star Shane Falco (Keanu Reaves).
After his failure in the Super Bowl, Falco still can’t get rid of his bad memories of the final game. His days are spent cleaning ships in a small harbor in Washington. When Jimmy offered to join as a substitute, Falco initially refused.
His passion for playing football is gone. But Jimmy tells Falco it can’t hurt to take a second chance. Falco can be part of something, namely the possibility to be remembered again because he was able to lead the Washington Sentinel to the play offs.
The Replacements is not just an ordinary sports-themed film. Arguably, this is the best sports comedy film. Apart from the thick comedic elements that are presented subtly, there are lots of cool songs from the ’80s that accompany this film.
Just listen to the legendary We Will Rock You, Unbelieveble, and the most unforgettable song is the song I Will Survive in the scene singing with the stuntmen while in prison.
The comedy that is presented can also make the audience laugh out loud, not just smile. Be sure not to let the snack or soft drink container fall off while watching the scene where the opposing team is gawked at by the erotic dance of the Washington Sentinels club cheerleaders. Also don’t melt at the sight of the romantic scene between Falco and the beautiful head cheerleader Brooke Langton (Annabelle Farrell).
The Replacements is indeed a film that you don’t get tired of watching again. Not only because of the comedy that can still make you laugh. The message embedded in this film is also timeless.
In a satirical way, this film satirizes the spoiled behavior of star players who are idolized by their fans. The professional players, who had already been paid a large amount, were still dissatisfied and went on strike. Responding to this action, coach Jimmy only briefly commented on the club owner, ” You don’t have players. They all flew to their private palaces. ”
At first glance, the story plot of The Replacements is similar to The Longest Yard, starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. Equally football-themed comedy films. The main character is the same, a former NFL star quarterback who had failed. And these two films also carry the same message; every athlete always dreams of a second chance. There is always an opportunity to be a part of something big and big, no matter how short the time.
For the record, the Washington Redskins football team, which in this film is replaced by the Washington Sentinels, managed to win the Super Bowl after substitute players led their team to enter the play-off round.