Saturday, December 18, 2021

Review + Giveaway: "American Underdog" (2021 Film)

My family has a longstanding tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas. We won't be going this year - it's still too dangerous for my immunocompromised self - but if we were, American Underdog would be the movie we'd see. Fortunately, I was able to watch a screener ... so I can tell you that this absolutely should be on your Christmas agenda if you're comfortable going to movie theaters!

American Underdog tells the inspirational true story of Kurt Warner (Zachary Levi from Shazam), who went from a stockboy at a grocery store to a two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl champion, and Hall of Fame quarterback. The film centers on Warner’s unique story and years of challenges and setbacks that could have derailed his aspirations to become an NFL player – but just when his dreams seemed all but out of reach, it is only with the support of his wife, Brenda (Anna Paquin), and the encouragement of his family, coaches, and teammates that Warner perseveres and finds the strength to show the world the champion that he already is. American Underdog is an uplifting story that demonstrates that anything is possible when you have faith, family and determination.

I have a vague recollection of Kurt Warner and the St. Louis Rams' championship run in 1999-2000, and of course I remember hearing about Warner's untraditional path to the NFL. Somewhere along the way, I learned that Warner's wife, Brenda, had children from a previous marriage. Most importantly - in my world, at least - the Warners' son Kade played football at Nebraska. So it's safe to say that I'm familiar with Kurt Warner. But I didn't really know his story.

American Underdog follows Kurt Warner (Zachary Levi) from his final year playing college football through his Super Bowl-winning season with the St. Louis Rams. It highlights the highs and lows on his circuitous route to football superstardom, but more than that, it focuses on family.

When Kurt and Brenda (Anna Paquin) meet, he's a college football player, while she is a Marine Corp veteran single mom. One of the strongest aspects of this film is the portrayal of the relationship between Kurt and Brenda's son Zach (Hayden Zaller). Levi and Zaller have wonderful chemistry, making the relationship feel authentic from the start.

The movie begins and ends with football, but the majority of the story takes place in the in between - when Kurt and Brenda are trying to get their footing as a couple while struggling to make ends meet. This part does drag a bit, and Kurt's foray into arena football, the stepping stone to his time with the Rams, helps pump some needed excitement back into the movie. Once he signs with the Rams, the film soars, with real footage intercut with the film as the Rams make their way to the Super Bowl.

This film is directed by the Erwin Brothers (October Baby, I Can Only Imagine, I Still Believe), who are known for their faith-based films, and what you get here is a PG-rated sports film that lightly touches on Christianity. Brenda and Kurt have a discussion about faith on one of their early dates, and she mentions that she always felt God had something big in store for her. But that is by and large the most "religion" you'll get in this film, making it far more palatable for a general audience than, say, the God's Not Dead franchise. Warner's story of perseverance is inspiring, and fans of sports films will find much to enjoy in American Underdog

American Underdog releases on Christmas Day, and it would be a great Christmas outing for the whole family! 4 stars.

Get Tickets Here:
Learn More about the Movie:

I'm giving away two Fandango ticket codes to see American Underdog in theaters! Enter below. US only, please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: Many thanks to Kingdom Story Company for providing a sample of the product for this review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.


  1. This would be a great one for our family to see! A sports movie I like is Rudy! ☺️

    1. Of course you like Rudy! I just watched it for the second time, and I liked it way more than I did as a teenager :-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...