film reel image

film reel image

Monday, February 5, 2024

Wildcats 1986 * * * Stars


The NFL football season is about to wind up and since there's a week break between now and the big game (that would be the Super Bowl), I decided to revisit 1986's Wildcats. With Wildcats, you get a perfectly cast Goldie Hawn and glimpses of the first film roles of Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes. "It's the sport of kings, better than diamond rings". Oh you know it.

So yeah, Wildcats is that 80s flick that never quite gained a comedy cult following. I mean just to be sure I checked its wiki page. Whatever. It has a following with me since I've seen it 50 or so times in the last 38 years via its release. The late Michael Ritchie directs and he never made his sports films go down easy (remember The Bad News Bears?). Ritchie likes his characters to be abhorrent and potty-mouthed, his tone to be racy, and his underdog story to be dejecting. He's like Ron Shelton without the glitz and glitter, driven to have victory come straight out of the impurity. 

As something about a female football coach (Hawn as Molly McGrath) who gets to fulfill her lifelong dream of heading a varsity team from the wrong side of Chicago, Wildcats has foul one-liners, conventionally-shot yet decently-edited gridiron scenes (which I'll let slide), and a moxie with a certain chip on its shoulder. There's also a side plot about McGrath maybe losing custody of her kids to her irksome husband (Frank Needham played by James Keach). 

All in all, the movie is harmless and entertaining yet you nervously laugh at its antics, wondering if your induced laughter is righto (and mine is). Now could Wildcats be made today? Maybe, maybe not. Certain stuff would be left on the cutting room floor, like the nudity locker room scene complete with helmets attached to the you know whats. And does Wildcats give you those feminist, right-wing vibes? Not really. Goldie Hawn's persona is just a darn good XS and OS girl, period. Top "cat". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment