There's really nothing more that I despise than cheap sentimentality. It makes me want to vomit. 'Forever Strong' is about Rugby and how it, supposedly, can inspire people and make them better. Okay, I completely agree with that. However, this film lives in a world where someone crying needs to be supported by a sappy music cue.
Rick Penning(Sean Farris, you'll remember him from the equally nauseating film, 'Never Back Down') is a hot headed, selfish rugby player who gets drunk and gets into an accident, causing near fatal damage to his girlfriend, who lands in a mesh of barbed wire. Of course, we see the girl, laying in bed soon after with only a couple of obviously fake scratches on her face. Oh, and she's still going through the hassle of putting make up on and doing her hair perfectly, even though, she's probably been ordered to stay in bed. Already, we see that the filmmakers don't take this seriously. Oh, Rick and his dad(Neal McDonough) don't have a good relationship. In case you were on the edge of your seat, they settle things in the end. Imagine that.
The movie's just so incredibly predictable. Of course, he's gonna land in juvinile hall and his supervisor, Marcus(Sean Astin) suggests he plays with the Highland Rugby team. Rick goes, thinking he'll have a shorter sentence by sucking up to Marcus(who gets an incredibly small amount of screen time). Of course, we already know that he's going to start out by hating it. And of course, it's going to end up inspiring him to stop drinking and become a better person. By the end, they all cry because they won the damn game, the music swells, he gets the girl, his mom is proud of him, he's got new friends. How inspirational. Not really.
There's an entire scene where the team prays in the locker room, asking the Lord to help them to play well. It's supposed to touch us and make us realize that public prayer should be accepted and used(the movie is incredibly Republican). Okay, I really don't think that God cares about their pathetic Rugby game. I'm pretty sure that God's more preoccupied with, you know, that little war that's going on in the middle east. Call me crazy.
Well, it's impossible to think that, though the movie is about Rugby, little care has been put into filming and editing the actual sequences of the game. The filmmakers took a whole bunch of phony footage and chopped it together in order to try and manipulate the audience into thinking that there's something going on. I hate space filling. It's appalling and offensive. Talking down to the audience is the number one no-no of filmmaking, and this movie flaunts itself in it.
The movie is based on actual events, but it's safe to say that the actual story is probably more interesting than the one we've been presented with. The movie is badly written, badly acted, badly filmed, badly edited, and horribly presented. Don't waste your time. You've seen this movie before; about 3 dozen times before. This one is no better.