MCFARLAND, USA – Blu-ray Review
Disney definitely loves to inspire. Whether that be through film, television, books, or even video games. Disney’s latest film, McFarland, USA, inspired by a true story, does just that. It inspires.
In the tradition of Disney Sports movies comes “McFarland, USA,” based on the inspiring true story of underdogs triumphing over tremendous obstacles. This heartwarming drama follows novice runners who strive to build a cross-country team under Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) in their predominantly Latino high school. Everyone has a lot to learn about each other and work ethic that transform them into champions -helping them achieve their own American dream.
I remember the last time I felt this story telling come at play during a Disney film and that was with Million Dollar Arm. It dealt with sports and was one of the few “adult” Disney films to come last year. And while I could appreciate Million Dollar Arm for what it set out to do and for what it accomplished, I didn’t fully love it. Sadly, to an extant, that goes for McFarland, USA as well.
This type of story telling is what Disney does best. They know the formula and they go for it, each year seeming to offer us a new underdog tale. And while the outcome is usually the same, not every story is a carbon copy, they just seem to follow a certain path. I think with every underdog story Disney produces, they bring something special to the screen, something that makes it stick out. And with that, I do have some very positive things to say about McFarland, USA.
McFarland, USA didn’t grab my attention from the start, but I did find myself becoming slowly invested in this story about a cross-country team, led by Jim White (Kevin Costner), that would take America by storm. Not only did Kevin Costner do a tremendous job portraying the character of Jim White, but something has to be said about how racially diverse this film was. The story surrounds a group of Latino’s and the hardships that come with trying to live out there dream. It never feels stereotyped which, sadly, can be a rare thing in today’s media.
McFarland, USA did follow the typical Disney formula, but it did it well and offered a new story, offering people a new found inspiration for following their dreams. But I did find quite a bit of the moments to be slow and dragged out. I felt the film could’ve been shorter as well. My complaints are few, but in the end I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys this specific type of genre.
Bonus: The directing by Niki Caro was a treat for the eyes, capturing scenes in such ways that you felt as if you were there on screen. Worth the watch alone.
- McFarland Reflections
- “Juntos” Music Video
- Inspiring McFarland
- Deleted & Extended Scenes