‘Crooked Arrows’ Movie Review
With very few exceptions, sports movies follow a very basic formula. Take a struggling team, give them an inspiring coach, pair them against evil rivals and watch them win to triumphant cheers from all the people who believed in them all along. Crooked Arrows is not one of those previously mentioned exceptions, but if you’re one of the hundreds of people who have been waiting for a movie about lacrosse and Native Americans, this film was made just for you.
Brandon Routh (of Superman semi-fame) plays Joe Logan, a member of the Haudenosaunee tribe (a member of the Iroquois nation) on his father’s side who, after dropping the ball on his own lacrosse dreams, ended up working for the white man as a gambling resort developer. He wants to take more reservation lands to build a bigger casino that will bring more money for the tribe. The elders, including his father (played by veteran actor Gil Birmingham), want him to prove himself worthy by coaching their high school lacrosse team back to victory.
What follows is a typical teen sports movie with the added bonus of Native American spiritualism and culture. I have to say that these moments are where the movie shines, and are what will ultimately make it far more memorable than a lacrosse movie has any right to be. The boys (and one girl) on the team are united by something more than just a desire to beat the other teams. They have a history and a people to honor, and they come to carry the weight of an ancient tradition with new-found pride.
At the same time, Joe reconnects with his own roots and, of course, manages to win back the affections of his high school girlfriend who is far more fascinated with his tribe than he ever was. The love story is clunky, but fortunately it doesn’t clog up a whole lot of screen time.
If you want a feel-good movie where everyone but the bad guys end up happy and the world seems like a better place than it really is, Crooked Arrows is right up your alley. There is a cheese factor, but that’s a sports movie. They are designed to make us feel like winning a game can change lives forever.
Crooked Arrows opens to theaters nationwide today, June 1st.