Tuesday 13 February 2024

REVIEW: Next Goal Wins (2023 Film) - Starring Michael Fassbender

Watch now on Apple TV - https://apple.co/49wZLDU
Watch now on Amazon - https://amzn.to/42GBwkw

Review by Jon Donnis
"Next Goal Wins" is a delightful blend of comedy, drama, and inspirational sports storytelling, brought to life by the talented direction of Taika Waititi and a strong ensemble cast. Based on the true story of Dutch-American coach Thomas Rongen's improbable journey to transform the American Samoa national soccer team from perennial underdogs to potential World Cup qualifiers, the film captures the essence of the underdog spirit with heart and humour.

Michael Fassbender shines in the role of Thomas Rongen, bringing charisma and depth to the character of the maverick coach tasked with an almost impossible mission. His portrayal is both compelling and endearing, anchoring the film with his performance. The supporting cast, including Oscar Kightley, Kaimana, and Elisabeth Moss, delivers solid performances that enhance the story's emotional resonance.

One of the film's greatest strengths is its ability to balance humor with genuine emotion. The comedic moments are well-executed and provide much-needed levity, while the dramatic elements effectively tug at the heartstrings without veering into sentimentality. The screenplay, co-written by Waititi and Iain Morris, successfully captures the essence of the original 2014 British documentary film directed by Mike Brett and Steve Jamison, while adding depth and nuance to the characters and narrative.

However, "Next Goal Wins" is not without its flaws. Despite its intentions to subvert stereotypes about island life and culture, the film occasionally falls into clichés and stereotypes, particularly in its portrayal of the Samoan characters. Some viewers may find certain moments awkward or cringeworthy, detracting from the overall enjoyment of the film.

Overall, "Next Goal Wins" is a charming and uplifting underdog story that celebrates the power of perseverance and the triumph of the human spirit. While it may not entirely avoid the pitfalls of cliché, its genuine heart and strong performances make it a worthwhile watch. I would give "Next Goal Wins" a solid 8 out of 10, recommending it to anyone in need of a feel-good movie with plenty of laughs and heartwarming moments.

Watch now on Apple TV - https://apple.co/49wZLDU
Watch now on Amazon - https://amzn.to/42GBwkw