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Review: 'Touchback' is a football movie with uplifting message

Movie review: ‘Touchback'
by Ken Raymond Published: April 13, 2012

If you like feel-good dramas that play out against a football backdrop, then Anchor Bay Films' “Touchback” will appeal to you as it is released today.

The movie stars former Oklahoma Brian Presley as Scott Murphy, a former football star and family man who is having a rough time making ends meet.

Still known in his small Midwest town of Coldwater as “Mr. Football,” Murphy is tormented by the idea of the success and prosperity that he could have had if only things hadn't gone so badly during his last high school football game. His dramatic touchdown cemented the team's first state football championship but resulted in an injury that ended his athletic career.

At the beginning of the film, everything that could go wrong for the adult Murphy does — at the bank, in his field of soybeans nearly ready for harvest, and throughout the community that in high school he once called “Backwater,” etc. He has a supportive wife (played well by Melanie Lynskey) and loving children, but he is overwhelmed by the weight of trying to fulfill their dreams while knowing he was forced to let go of his own long ago.

Murphy gets his chance at a do-over when, after a series of events, he finds himself back in high school, getting ready for the big game. With all the foresight (hindsight?) of what happens to him as an adult, the teenage Murphy has the chance to make choices that would lead his life in a different direction.

The movie's plot centers on whether he would choose the life he has, problems and all, or a different future.

“Touchback” is similar in theme to “It's a Wonderful Life,” with scenes that recall “Field of Dreams and other back-in-time-for-second-chances movies.

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by Ken Raymond
Book Editor
Ken Raymond is the book editor. He joined The Oklahoman in 1999. He has won dozens of state, regional and national writing awards. Three times he has been named the state's "overall best" writer by the Society of Professional Journalists. In...
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PG-131:583 stars

Starring: Brian Presley, Kurt Russell, Christine Lahti, Marc Blucas, Sarah Wright. (Mature thematic elements)


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