A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that 100 Yards is a faith-based drama set in the Philippines about a young man with a troubled past, a chaotic present, and an uncertain future. Forgoing induction into football's NFL for pressing personal reasons, the talented but angry hero faces increasingly disturbing events that will determine both his outlook and his fate. Violent scenes include a brutal beating that culminates in a knife threat, numerous flashbacks to a fatal car accident, a young woman's self-inflicted injuries, a near drowning, and explosive outbursts. Occasional cursing is heard: "damn," "crap," "pissed off," "Christ," and "jackass." A character who's dependent upon alcohol drinks to the point of drunkenness. A packet of drugs, while not consumed, is part of the plot. In addition, diagnosis and treatment of cancer are substantial story points, and (spoiler alert) a significant character dies. The film is strongly based on forgiveness, redemption, and faith in God.
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What's the story?
As a result of great loss and buried self-hatred, Rich Porter (Steven Brewis) is angry, mean-spirited, and subject to emotional outbursts at the opening of 100 YARDS. Though his lifelong dream of making it to the NFL comes true, Rich gives up professional football to journey to the Philippines to find his mother, missing after a typhoon struck the islands. There, while working with Josh Berry (R.C. Ormond), a thoughtful American football coach trying to build a team of locals and American players who are hoping for renewal, Rich seeks information about his mom. An upsetting breakup with an unprincipled girlfriend (Melissa Paulo) and an uncomfortable encounter with an American journalist (Sean Patrick Flanery) results in an alcohol-induced fury, a low point for the troubled young man. Shortly thereafter, Rich is diagnosed with brain cancer and faced with extensive treatment as an in-patient in a local hospital. It is there that Rich meets Darrell (Jerold Kervin Uy), a boy who suffers from brain cancer as well. Never giving up hope of finding his mother, Rich now faces his own battle against death, and joins forces with Darrell, Josh Berry, and a beautiful young nurse (Rebecca Lim) to meet the challenges that face him.
Is it any good?
Clearly the folks behind this movie are earnest and hope to inspire audiences, but so many tragedies and evils assault its Job-like hero that the story becomes ludicrous and dizzying. A missing mom and a diagnosis of glioblastoma (a devastating form of brain cancer) might have been enough, but when the protagonist is still dealing with guilt from a tragic accident that took his little brother's life, false charges of assault by an unscrupulous, scorned lover, and the inevitable death of a little boy he's grown to love, it's simply "piling on," to use a relevant football term. Some performances are very good (R.C. Ormond deserves a bit of applause); some are adequate, as is the production. Still, there are some significant messages that audiences can take away from 100 Yards, many of them delivered by the football-based game that a beguiling little boy gives to a new friend.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about movies about redemption. Why do they appeal to such a wide audience? Besides Rich Porter, who else was redeemed in 100 Yards?
How did the filmmakers use the "magical" 100 Yards of Life game to describe steps that could lead to making better choices and leading a more rewarding life? Regardless of your belief system, which of the game's instructions might be of benefit to you?
What did this film have to say about second chances? How did the filmmakers use faith to frame their messages?
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