: : : Varsity Blues

Story

This MTV-produced drama only looks like an adaptation of H.G. Bissinger's expert dissertation of the church of high school football, Friday Night Lights. The energetic, breezy movie has none of the seriousness of Bissinger's book except on its basic level: in West Texas, high school football is life. Into this world comes Jonathan "Mox" Moxon (James Van Der Beek), a brainy, uncharacteristic jock who sits on the sideline reading Slaughterhouse Five until the West Caanan High School Coyotes All-Texas QB goes down with an injury. Suddenly the spotlight and the tyrannical ways of coach Bud Kilmer (another ace evil turn by Jon Voight) are on Mox and the light is white-hot. There have been several films that show tough, honest kids doing their best against the worst of small-town coaches (Tom Cruise in All the Right Moves, for one) but Varsity Blues, in its glossy style, takes a more curious turn: studying what happens when celebrity comes to the well-adjusted high schooler. Mox starts seeing the rewards of stardom: a six-pack under the counter, acceptance in school, even easy sex from the girl who goes after the starting quarterback (Ali Larter). Will Mox win the big game? Will he bend to the wills of his coach? Will he stay with his old girlfriend? The questions are easy enough to answer, but the film has an ace up its sleeve: Van Der Beek has the stuff to carry the movie. Fans of TV's Dawson's Creek will see a slightly grittier dreamboat here, and Van Der Beek's care with the role makes the most ludicrous parts--including a trip to a strip club--manage a certain aura. --Doug Thomas

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Widescreen

Cast

James Van Der BeekMox
Jon VoightCoach Kilmer
Paul WalkerLance Harbor
Ron LesterBilly Bob
Scott CaanTweeter
Richard LinebackJoe Harbor
Amy SmartJulie Harbor
Thomas F. DuffySam Moxon
Brady ColemanSheriff Bigelow
Ali LarterDarcy Sears
Jesse PlemonsTommy Harbor

8.8

I'm sure that you've been to (or at least heard of) places where high school football...

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Brian Robbins
  • Producer: Paramount
  • Length: 106 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJan 15, 1999
    EuropeSep 10, 1999
    JapanOct 9, 1999
    AustraliaApr 1, 1999
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe15
    AustraliaM
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaMay 31, 1999
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8.8 / 10
Rate
(0.0766/d/web8)