Kicking & Screaming

Rated 2.0

A vitamin salesman (Will Ferrell) starts coaching his son’s soccer team and winds up replaying his lifelong conflicts with his own overbearing father (Robert Duvall), who coaches a rival team. The script by Leo Benvenuti and Steve Rudnick is, to put it kindly, overly familiar, with the usual motley crew of misfit kids learning about the “value of teamwork” while their coach learns “what’s really important in life.” Director Jesse Dylan, desperate to avoid yawns, flails madly with staging, editing, slow motion—any trick he can think of, whether it fits or works or not. The movie’s major asset is Ferrell, whose total commitment to the moment borders on the manic; another amusing bonus is Mike Ditka, in a good-sport turn playing himself as Duvall’s next-door neighbor, who becomes Ferrell’s assistant coach.