As we get ready to wrap up another college football season and prepare for all the bowl game watching over the holidays, the new movie National Champions comes along to bring up what has been a hot topic in college sports for a while now. And to tell the story, they assembled a nice cast of performers to bring it to life.
Not only is Stephan James the lead character in the film, but the character (LeMarcus James) is also the team leader, on and off the field. With his best friend and teammate, Emmett (Alexander Ludwig) by his side, the two decide that the time is right to stage a player strike of college football’s biggest game, in order to change the NCAA’s rules and get financial compensation for all student-athletes. But as it turns out, there’s a possible other reason for this sudden decision. And both sides, players and the league, are ready to pull out all the stops to get their way.
So the intriguing story is there. But the dramatics of it doesn’t come off that way. It seems they wasted the great performers they had by mixing in a lot of extra ones. And as I watched scene to scene, I was constantly just watching it, waiting for something exciting to happen but it never did. Or in football terms, National Champions never made the big play to score a game-winning touchdown, just a simple field goal that doesn’t change the outcome.