Coach Carter (2005) Review
Controversy surrounds high school basketball coach Ken Carter after he benches his entire team for breaking their academic contract with him.
Director: Thomas Carter
Writer: Mark Schwahn
Producer: David Gale
Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport
Samuel L. Jacksons performance as Coach Carter was amazing at the beginning of the movie he came across as this ruthless man that had a point to prove, let alone a teacher. His authority screams as he strolls into the basketball hall with an element of swagger. As the film progresses you see him loosen up but that is not too be mistaken as one wrong move can send him raging back into the gym and the boys will experience the force of Coach Carter. It is an all-round marvellous performance from Samuel L. Jackson and definitely one of the best I have seen in a sports movie. There were some great supporting role performances to go along with the movie with characters such as Kenyan Stone (Rob Brown) who just finds out he is going to be a dad and Timo Cruz (Rick Gonzalez) who is on the edge of getting himself into trouble with the law and adding to the system that is already failing these boys.
The scriptwriting was actually great, the dialogue was concise explained enough and was hard-hitting when it needed to be. It explained Basketball enough that I think any person could understand and the only sport that I follow being football I feel like it did a good job and made me understand it. So many characters had great arcs such as Timo who you literally watch try to complete an impossible task to get Coach Carter's approval. It leads to a beautiful moment where Timo fails and Jason Lyle (Channing Tatum) realises the importance of what Coach Carter has been teaching them and helps Timo by saying:
‘‘We’re a team, one person struggles, we all struggle’’.
The film poised Coach Carter as a character not only to help these boys become better at basketball but also better men. Watching these boys hit a rock bottom in their life and begin to appreciate the position that they are in but not to take it for granted is such a great piece of scriptwriting. The conflict was great and came from not somewhere that I thought. Watching this film, I thought the conflict was going to come from gangs outside the world of Basketball but it didn’t. It came from the school system and the headteacher. Her not realising that she is failing the kids until she is confronted by Coach Carter, which is a great scene and leads to him making her realise what she is doing coming back at her with the line:
‘‘Your job is to educate these kids; I suggest you start doing yours’’.
That line made me sit there and think to take that you don’t realise the part you are playing in failing these kids’ future and it was delivered like a knife into a heart.
Camera for the basketball scenes was flawless and felt like I was literally witnessing the fast action of Basketball scenes made it feel like that I myself were on the side-lines either as a coach or spectator and it was truly gripping.
The fact that it is a true story that points at society for creating problems and though his methods may be tough it shows that his methods are the best way to make these boys break free of their shackles.
The only criticism that I may have is that I think the effect of the slow-motion camera was used a bit too much, but that is the only reason for the downgrade.
I think this is one of the best sports films I’ve seen and definitely not what I was expecting. Compared to other sports stories that focus on building a great character this film thrives in you wanting the boys to have a better life and also shows you the problem.
I rate this movie: 4/5.
Until the next one,