Murderball - Great summer viewing

Alliance Atlantis
Duration: 85min
Category: Documentary
Available: On DVD
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Surprisingly there is little murderball in the film Murderball.

This documentary on the sport of quad rugby, a sport where quadriplegics in modified wheelchairs try to stop each other from getting a ball across a court by ramming into each other, sells itself as a tough, no holds barred look at athletes who just happen to be in wheelchairs. The characters they follow are macho, in your face, x-treme sport sorts of guys and itís supposed to be a celebration of machismo.

But the advertising is deceiving. Murderball, despite its best intentions, ends up being quite a bit of an inspiring, almost sentimental look at disadvantaged minorities overcoming the odds.

Still, having said that, Murderball is damn entertaining. The guys these film makers found are real characters, ejaculating their personalities all over the screen.

These guys are tough, there is no doubt about that. The film, however, focuses on afterschool special moments like the athlete father overcoming his disappointment and learning to appreciate his musically inclined sonís talents. Other stories involve one character reconnecting with his former best friend, the friend who was driving drunk, caused a car accident and put him in the chair in the first place.

This isnít to belittle those stories. They are truly gut wrenching, they are just more emotional than the film promoters want you to think they are.

Also, as mentioned above, rarely do we get to watch these guys play. It could have been fun to actually get some excitement out of watching the game but I guess thatís for ESPN and not for the cinema.

In the end, itís the personal stories that are the most satisfying, the hope and the tears. Therefore Murderball delivers. In fact, this is the perfect date film. Macho enough for the guys while touching enough for the women. On the other hand, it's inspiring for guys in touch with their feminine sides (but not too sappy) and the players are cute enough for the women. Either way, it's worth checking out.

Review By: Collin Smith

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