Review: Touchback / Cert: TBC / Director: Don Handfield / Screenplay: Don Handfield / Starring: Brian Presley, Kurt Russell, Melanie Lynksey, Marc Blucas / Release Date: Out Now (US Import)
What if you had the chance to relive a moment from your past and change the destiny of your future? This is the basis of Touchback, the fantasy/football film written and directed by Don Handfiel.
High school star quarterback Scott Murphy (Brian Presley) has everything going for him in the small town of Coldwater (nicknamed by Scott as Backwater because he thinks its a hick town and he wants out); his beautiful, outgoing girlfriend from a wealthy family, Jenny (Sarah Wright) and a chance to play at Ohio State on a football scholarship. During the state championship game, he makes the winning goal, but gets his leg snapped in the process, shattering all his dreams of success forever.
Fifteen years later, he’s married the shy girl in the band, Macy (Melanie Lynsky) who works as a maid at a local motel collecting aluminum cans to provide extra money for the family’s needs, has two little girls he can barely afford to buy things they need, a beat up, rusted out truck that barely runs and owns a farm that’s overdue on the mortgage about to be taken over by the bank.
To top it off, he walks with a permanent limp from his football injury and takes prescription drugs to ease his pain.
When his best friend, Hall (Marc Blucas) shows up in his Porsche; a big league player in the NFL and his ex-high school flame, Jenny on his arm that came down for the last game of the high school football season, his world gets darker and darker.
Day after day, he beats himself up mentally thinking: what if I would have done things differently on that final play, my life would have been different. Scott gets his chance in a very, round-about way allowing him back in time during that final week of the championship and the ball is set in motion.
Performances are all top notch, but it’s Kurt Russell as the sage mentor to Scott, Coach Hand that steals the show. The audience loses themselves in his character and you begin thinking to yourself; why isn’t this guy a real life football coach, he’s that good.
The football scenes are brilliantly choreographed and exciting. Special mention has to go to sports coordinator Mark Robert Ellis for his remarkable work on Touchback and for playing the coach for the opposing team from Cuyahoga in the big game.
Cinematography by David Rush Morrison brilliantly highlights the film with his colors and images creating the emotion of the film’s characters and Norman Rockwell inspired background.
Touchback is a heartfelt film that combines the elements of the Best of Times, It’s A Wonderful Life and the Twilight Zone. It gives one food for thought for getting that second chance in life, but also reminding you to make the best of what you have.
Special Features: None