THE GAME PLAN
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as JOE KINGMAN
Madison Pettis as PEYTON KELLY
Kyra Sedgwick as STELLA PECK
Roselyn Sanchez as MONIQUE VASQUEZ
Morris Chestnut as TRAVIS SANDERS
Directed by: Andy Fickman
Studio: Walt Disney
BY KEVIN CARR
This really has been Disney’s year. While films like “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” wasn’t as monster of a hit as it could have been, they have pretty much trumped the field with their movies as of late. One of the surprise hits from last fall is “The Game Plan,” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
This film tells the story of Joe Kingman, an arrogant football hero who receives a huge reality check when his eight-year-old daughter he didn’t know he had shows up on his doorstep. Joe tries to adjust to his new fatherhood while keeping his football career on track.
In many ways, “The Game Plan” is really just a big-budget, feature-film version of a Disney Channel Original Movie. It’s a relatively simple and formulaic story that survives – and eventually thrives – on the size of its heart. The Rock makes a great turn to family comedies (as Schwarzenegger and Vin Diesel have done previously), but the real scene-stealer is Madison Pettis as his daughter.
Pettis first cut her teeth as the President’s daughter in the Disney Channel show “Corey in the House.” She is the heart of the film, and The Rock deftly throws the cuteness to her with perfect timing. Additionally, The Rock has oodles of charisma, which bode well for a smooth transition into the family comedy.
“The Game Plan” scored big in theaters, providing a perfect blend of machoism and family-friendly entertainment. The kids loved the little girl and the dog. The mothers loved the wholesomeness of the film. And the fathers loved all the football references. This is one of those rare films that has something for everyone, which is why it works amid the formulaic and predictable plot.
The DVD comes with a nice selection of features, including bloopers narrated by Marv Albert, deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of the film and two ESPN SportsCenter spots, one that profiles The Rock’s transition to a football hero on the screen and the other on the character of Joe Kingman. While there’s no games on the disc, there is a hidden feature that allows kids to change the mood lighting of the menu and also bedazzle different items in Joe Kingman’s bachelor pad.