Gridiron Gang

Rated 3.0

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays Sean Porter, a real-life counselor at a Los Angeles juvenile detention center who set up a football program for the center’s most hard-case inmates to help them learn teamwork—and forget their murderous ’hood rivalries—playing against area high schools. There’s nothing like a rousing football game to get you rooting for the home team—witness both versions of The Longest Yard, which this movie resembles more than a little. The game footage is well-edited, and Johnson’s star presence holds our attention, but the story is too thin and too familiar to stretch out for more than two hours. Director Phil Joanou cleverly short-circuits any complaints by salting the closing credits with documentary shots of the real Porter spouting many of the same clichés as Jeff Maguire’s script.