The Final Season

This heavy-handed, watered-down baseball version of Hoosiers pales in comparison to the 1986 basketball classic. In Smalltown, USA, the lives of locals revolve around their high school baseball team, which has won 19 championships in almost as many years. So the dedicated townsfolk get all worked up when state cutbacks cause two high schools to merge. This causes the release of one famed coach and an unpopular replacement to follow. With overly inspirational sports-movie clichés and PG-rated romances, the underdog coach garners predictable support for the standard concluding Big Game. The performances by Sean Astin, Tom Arnold and Rachel Leigh Cook give no cause for complaint. David Mickey Evans’ sleep-inducing direction and the unoriginal writing by Art D’Alessandro and James Grayford, however, do.

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