The Mighty Ducks (1992)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Mighty Ducks</strong> (1992)

(In French, On TV, January 2019) Sports movie are often intensely formulaic, and The Mighty Ducks is even more formulaic than most. It being a hockey movie is almost irrelevant to the hackneyed underdogs plot that it follows without deviation, assembling a team of misfits to take on much better teams. Emilio Estevez slums it up by taking on the usual coach role of those movies, overcoming some personal trauma by working with troubled kids. It’s a bog-standard sports movie and perhaps that helps explain its enduring popularity. Estevez is not bad, the tone of the film is carefully pitched to impressionable young teenagers (who are guaranteed to remember it fondly as adults) and hockey helps the action move faster than baseball. You can compare and contrast the beige amiability of The Mighty Ducks to spikier fare such as The Bad News Bears for an instruction on how bland corporate products are extruded. It almost inevitably led to the naming of Disney’s own hockey team, furthering cementing the film’s legacy right before the two sequels and animated TV series. For adults, though, The Mighty Ducks is an umpteenth take on an overly familiar formula. It’s watchable, but almost immediately forgettable.

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