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Video Review: 'Any Given Sunday'

Posted on

Any Given Sunday

Current Status:
In Season
157 minutes
Jamie Foxx, Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Ann-Margret, Bill Bellamy, Elizabeth Berkley, Jim Brown, Cameron Diaz, Charlton Heston, LL Cool J, Matthew Modine, James Woods
Oliver Stone
Warner Bros.
John Logan, Oliver Stone
Drama, ActionAdventure

We gave it a B+

”When you get old in life, things get taken from you,” intones Al Pacino as Tony D’Amato, the beleaguered head coach of the Miami Sharks. In fact, a sense of loss permeates Oliver Stone’s gridiron drama Any Given Sunday, which depicts a team, and a national pastime, in transition. Lamenting a day when teamwork and loyalty were the game’s stock in trade, D’Amato finds himself under attack by the Sharks’ new bottom-line-minded general manager, Christina Pagniacci (Cameron Diaz), and his new starting quarterback, Willie Beaman (Jamie Foxx), a backwoods benchwarmer-turned-arrogant young turk.

As usual with Stone, there are excesses galore: of style, symbolism (the arena-warrior metaphor, already overworked on the big screen, seems even more so on video, especially in the wake of Gladiator), subplots, and, especially in one (literally) eye-popping case, gore. Despite Sunday‘s trenchant take on today’s sports-industrial complex, tradition wins out, as D’Amato teaches the young’uns a lesson. An almost quaint resolution, especially coming from the iconoclastic director. But then, this is the product of Stone the wistful football fan, not Stone the postmodern paranoiac. B+