Great sports movies, like Hoosiers, Brian’s Song and Moneyball, always remember that the movie is not about “the big game.” The movie is about the internal struggle of the main character which is complicated by the big game. Of the myriad things that made The Mighty Macs lame, the worst was the absence of any real internal conflict. There is no sin in the movie which means there is no tension or real stakes. Flannery O’Connor condemned this in Catholic art as an “overemphasis on innocence.” We Catholics should know better because we know what is in the heart of men. Secondly, the movie was lacking in most of the things that make a movie great. There was no subtext, no imagery, no layering, no complexity of character, no theme, no surprises and then, some really lame dialogue. Finally, the movie was a terrible depiction of religious life utterly lacking in any real Catholic sensibility. See Ida Lupino’s classic The Trouble with Angels for a wonderful portrayal of nuns as real, flesh and blood people. The big question of The MIghty Macs is why the filmmakers didn’t get some help on the script. They had to know they were over their heads, right? I mean, they must have seen a good movie once or twice before?
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I don’t have the time or will to do a complete analysis of all the faults in The Mighty Macs. It is yet the latest disappointing movie effort to be produced and financed by committed Christians. It will not make its money back and will not add anything to the journey of the exclusively Christian audience that will be coaxed into theaters to support it. Subjecting it to a serious analysis would make me look like a fool, because it would mean applying more serious thought and experience to the movie than the filmmakers obviously did. Here follows a few comments I put on Steve Greydanus’ Facebook review of the project.