There are countless football films as well as there are movies on time travel. Not often do we get a chance to see the two combined into one. Good football films in general can appeal to both sports fans as well as people who aren’t so big on football. “Touchback” is one of those films.
In modern times, Scott Murphy (Brian Presley) lives a hard life. Once a great quarterback, Scott broke his life which impaired him for life. Living with his wife Macy (Melanie Lynskey) and two daughters he learns the bank will force him to leave his farm if he cannot pay them in time. When the machine that gathers his crops breaks down, Scott breaks down himself and attempts suicide, which sends him back in time to before he broke his leg. There, he tries to make the best of both worlds before he is caught in the same bind, he strives to not break his leg in the championship game, get his scholarship, and gather enough money to support his future family.
It isn’t entirely known if this vision of the past was real or imagined, but the beauty of the whole thing is that it really doesn’t matter. In football, they say it isn’t about winning or losing, it’s about how you play the game. It’s not so much different for this film, but in more ways than one.
By far, the idea of this film is not new. Characters in film have been sent back in time one way or another to recognize that their life isn’t so bad, and that it can be better. We have seen such stories in “It’s a Wonderful Life“, “A Christmas Carol“, and even “17 Again“. However, it is often done so well that it feels fresh. This film feels very fresh.
The moral of the story is clear. Never give up, and never lose sight of the important things in life. Again, not new, but this film has an incredible presentation that keeps that fresh feeling. The audience really wants there to be a happy ending, and are rooting for Scott throughout the film. While there are some predictability issues, it doesn’t seem to matter either.
The biggest flaw the film has is minimal. The characters in the beginning have pretty bad makeup attempting to imitate old age. It is pretty clear at the fact that the actors are pretty young with fake wrinkles around their eyes that just feels off. It may have been a better idea to just hire older actors that resemble the main actors, but their decision to keep the same actors may have had to do with familiarity when their younger selves show up in the past.
If you love football, and even if you really don’t, I guarantee you will thoroughly enjoy this flick. There are elements of the film that can and will appeal to a wide audience. It’s not a film to miss.
“Touchback” comes to Blu-Ray and DVD Sept. 4!