TOUCHBACK Trailer Takes a Knee

From First Showing (via Yahoo) comes the trailer for Touchback, starring Brian Presley (Home of the Brave) as a former quarterback prodigy who gets a do-over on his athletic career 15 years after a career-ending injury.  Kurt Russell co-stars as a grizzled high school football coach in a film that capitalizes on the public’s twin appetites for inspirational sports stories and body-shifting fantasies.

To be honest, I had to watch this trailer a couple times just to figure out what was going on.  There’s a magical pickup truck and a transition cut to shiny white sneakers (was New Balance that popular in 1991?) that pushes Touchback into the realm of high school revisionism, kind of like a heartland version of 17 Again.  But judging from the lack of humor in the trailer, it feels like writer-director Don Handfield is shooting for the sobriety and heft of Friday Night Lights in his first feature.

That’s a mighty tall order, and Touchback faces an uphill battle to distinguish itself from the detritus of recent Disney-inspired sports flicks.  This one at least has Russell, who was so good as Team USA coach Herb Brooks in the hockey documentary drama Miracle.  His advice to Presley is a little shaky at times – a coach who pressures an injury-averse kid to suck it up feels like a step backward in the Age of Concussions – but you gotta love a guy who doesn’t shy away from in-game therapy (“Whatever happens, it’s your choice!”).

Touchback opens on April 13.  You can watch the trailer below.  In the comments, tell us your favorite body-swapping/time-shifting movie!  (Dibs on Big.)

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The Author

Eric Ambler

Eric Ambler

Eric Ambler is a film critic and correspondent for Screen Invasion, as well as the founder of Ambler Amblog ( His parents named him after a Welsh spy novelist they found in a reference book. Someday he will get around to watching all the VHS tapes he bought at Goodwill.