The Last Champion

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
The Last Champion Movie Poster Image
Faith-based sports drama has drinking, mature themes.
  • PG-13
  • 2020
  • 122 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

You don’t need forgiveness from people as much as you need forgiveness from God, and all you have to do to be forgiven is ask for it. Your past mistakes don’t define you. If you work hard, have a plan, and put your whole heart into it, you can reach your goal.

Positive Role Models

John made a terrible mistake in the past that cost him dearly. Since then, he’s just tried to move on from it and do the best he can. Ultimately he’s able to apologize to those he hurt and ask for forgiveness. In the present he commits a serious sin of omission, and drinks alcohol excessively. Eventually he receives divine forgiveness, stops drinking, and becomes a good mentor and role model. Michael is a good role model for a teen in tough circumstances who works hard to pursue his dreams. The high school student body includes a few people of color. All the adult townsfolk are white except for one African American woman who represents positive contributions to the community.

Violence

A group of teens viciously beat another. Punching and kicking are shown as well as coughing out blood, bloody injuries to the face, and bruising afterward. A man is shown having chest pain and collapsing, which then cuts to a post-funeral gathering. Teens humiliate a classmate because of food insecurity.

Sex

Some romantic dynamics from a teen couple and an adult couple. The adults kiss once.

Language

"Ass," "gyp."

Consumerism

A few incidental brands visible like Ford, Jack Daniels, and Diet Coke.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

An adult is always drunk and smokes heavily. She asks her teen daughter to bring her a drink. A scene in a bar shows adults drinking shots and acting drunk. A man drinks heavily, stumbles around, and passes out. The next morning he puts bourbon in his coffee. A past scandal involves an athlete who used steroids illegally in competition. A firefighter smokes in the fire house.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Last Champion is a sports drama centered on a high-school wrestling team. There’s an overt religious message about asking God for forgiveness, but other religious content is mild, like church and community activities or praying to the sky, and doesn’t present any specific messages. The only violence is a vicious beating that shows punching, kicking, and a very bloody face afterward. Teens humiliate a classmate because of food insecurity. Sadness from loss is briefly touched on. There are some romantic dynamics and an adult couple kisses once. Two characters drink alcohol heavily. One drinks all the time, the other stops drinking after a serious binge. Past illegal steroid use is an important theme, but no use is shown. One character smokes frequently. “Ass” is used once or twice, and the ethnic slur “gyp” is used once.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGigiba February 14, 2021

Great family film

This is a great family film about broken people helping each other to get better.
Also , examples of how to treat each other with love and humility.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

THE LAST CHAMPION is John Wright (Cole Hauser), a disgraced Olympic wrestler. Now that his mother has passed away, John has to go back to the hometown he’s avoided for many years to settle her affairs. He’s asked to take over coaching the high-school wrestling team, but after a cowardly failure to act, John’s not sure he’s fit to be anybody’s coach, mentor, or role model. The most promising wrestler on the team is Michael (Sean H. Scully), who’s thinking about dropping out of school to support himself and his sisters. Can John find a way to help Michael, win back the townsfolk’s respect, and take the team to the championship match?

Is it any good?

This quiet, low-key sports drama is a cut above most faith-based movies, but suffers from a split personality. The first hour plays like a character study of a disgraced Olympic athlete, and the second hour plays like a fairly typical high-school sports movie. The outcome of both storylines is pretty predictable, but there is genuine suspense and uncertainty during the championship match sequences.

The emotional tone stays pretty even throughout, contributing to the sense that nothing’s explored in any very deep or meaningful way. Teens will especially enjoy the second half, with the charismatic cast of young actors coming to the forefront. A beating with bloody injuries shown and mature themes make it best for teens and up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about excessive alcohol use in The Last Champion. Is it realistic? What are the consequences?

  • Why is forgiveness important, whether personal, divine, or both? Do you think John should have told Michael what he saw and did, or was he right to keep quiet? Why?

  • Movies about sports are always popular. What do we love about them? What can we learn from them? What are some of your favorites?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Themes & Topics

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