For its first two thirds, this unlikely sequel to the 1976 classic has all the makings of an underdog triumph: Lead star Emily Bergl is terrifically cast and has considerable chemistry with Jason London, going a long way towards selling the rather rote story, which is little more than a remake of the legendary original. In addition, director Katt Shea has a strong grasp of the movie’s themes, in particular the relentless, endless misogyny of high school football culture, and tackles difficult subject matters with aplomb and deft use of symbolism. Unfortunately, by the time the climax rolls around, all that good will is eroded by a cheap-looking, regrettable finale that does the movie a treacherous disservice. It’s a shame that the movie is so compromised by its ending, because until then, it’s a surprisingly compelling, layered little number.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)