Touchback (Movie Review)

After 10 years I finally got around to watching the movie Touchback

I’d always been meaning to watch it because my first notice of the movie wasin the year 2010. We were living on a house in Grandville on a dead end street and that particular day I had to drive out to the airport for work travel. As I was going out to my car a guy came down the street and asked me to move my car over behind some industrial buildings so it would be out of the shot they were filming. On our street there was a house right off the main road that basically looked like a shack. The film makers were using as part of the filming for the movie. (Later, after the filming was done, the owners eventually sold it to the nearby car lot who tore it down and expanded their parking lot). I was able to watch the movie on Amazon Prime free video. I never did notice that particular house in the film. I might have to go through it on the computer and see if I can spot.

The movie is really just a updated version, with a sports metaphor, of the classic 1946 movie It’s A Wonderful Life. It would be impossible to do a direct remake of It’s A Wonderful Life. The conditions under which that movie takes place, in the Depression, are completely different than what we have now.

In the oroiginal movie, Jimmy Stewart doesn’t suffer an injury, but he does suffer a financial calamity where he’s going to be accused of embezzlement. Frustrated that his life han’t developed as he first wanted, he jumps off a bridge to commit suicide. An Angel rescues him at which point he sees all the things about his life and realizes he wants his life back. When he does back, h he finds out that the whole town chipped in to come up with the money to pay back what was lost from the bank so he isn’t go to jail.

Touchback, released in 2011, the former star quarterback football player gets injured scoring a touchdown, derailing a career going to Ohio State on a football scholarship. Of course he was dating the course a cheerleader in his high school days, but now he’s married to a so slightly mousie former band student. They have two kids and they live in a small house

They have a farm that’s about ready to go under because he had a loan at the bank on which which is at risk of default. He can’t come up with the money fast enough because he doesn’t have any crops yet. Then a freeze comes in and he’s got to get the crops out of the field. The machinery he is using breaks down! Ultimately in despair, he pulls into a wooded area, plugs the exhaust pipe of his now-old truck and rolls up the windows intending to commit suicide.

The issues that this movie touch on, which we see discussed a lot over the last 10 years, such as economic conditions of small towns and industries leaving impoverished rural areas, the lack of opportunities. These are all portrayed in the movie, though the banker in the movie isn’t really evil like he was in the original. This is just the system.

He wakes up back in high school in the week lrading up to the fateful game. He is dating the cheerleader, but notices the band girl.

He now has a chance to relive his football career and the choices he made going into the final game in the final play in which he got injured. He begins to consider how to change the future and first opts to NOT play the game, disappointing the coach (played by Kurt Russell).

But then he starts realizing that he does miss his wife and kids and the life he had, despite the troubles. He ends up making he same decision to run the ball for a touchdown, knowing he will get injured as before.

When he wakes up in real life, the truck is off because he ran out of gas. He didn’t die from carbon monoxide poisoning. When he goes into town everybody’s gone. The diner is empty, the town is empty. When he gets back to his farm, he finds out everybody in town picking his crops by hand all day and the rest of the night in order to get his crops in so that he can make his loan.

Cyclist, runner. Backpacking, kayaking. .Enjoy travel, love reading history. Congressional candidate in 2016. Anti-facist. Home chef.