Forget the curve ball. Give 'em the heater!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Mighty Ducks Redux: Chapter 1

In terms of hockey movie trilogies, The Mighty Ducks very well might be the best. For the uninitiated, the original Might Ducks movie (which inspired the name of the NHL team) followed the formula established in the 1976 film The Bad News Bears.

The Walter Matthau, or "Buttermaker" role, in The Mighty Ducks falls to Emilio Estevez (Charlie Sheen’s brother and Martin’s son). He plays "Gordon Bombay," who as a young boy was a hockey stud, but due to a "winning is the only thing that matters" kind of coach, coupled with the death of his father who introduced him to the frozen pond, he turns his back on the sport and pursues a career in law. Unfortunately, the "winning" attitude that his coach taught him rears its ugly face and he becomes too aggressive. Thinking he’s invincible, he drinks and drives and gets arrested. Sentenced to community service, he must coach a hockey team full of misfits (and now we’re full circle). "Gordon" eventually recaptures his love of the game and turns the team into a group of true winners, and defeats his hated former coach along the way.

The second film finds "Gordon," now embracing his childhood love of hockey, just one step away from a career in the NHL. But after an on ice injury, his sporting career is over. A lucrative contract convinces him to dust off his coaching suit and he rejoins his former players, this time to representing our country at the Junior Olympics. The team members remain the lovable scamps that they always were, and even add a few fresh faces to the roster, and naturally, they overcome their seemingly Goliath-like foe in the Norwegians, and capture the gold for America.

In the final film, "Gordon" plays a diminished role. He has gone back to practicing law, but encourages his former players to accept scholarships to the prestigious private high school that he attended. His former Mighty Ducks would in essence become the school’s junior varsity hockey team. Unfortunately, the rich kids on the varsity team don’t like them because they are poor trash and can’t afford the school on their parents’ paltry paychecks. And when the junior varsity Mighty Ducks can’t win on the ice, the rich parents don’t like them either and have the scholarships revoked. Enter "Gordon," who threatens a lawsuit if they renege on the scholarships. Eventually, the grudge between the varsity team and the junior varsity Ducks is settled on the ice and of course, the Ducks win...

-Backwords K
Backwords K is a contributor to the wonderful world of Taylor Bunts.


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