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YOUNGBLOOD, 1986
Movie Review

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YOUNGBLOODYOUNGBLOOD, 1986
Movie Review

Directed by Peter Markle
Starring: Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze
Review by Matthew Toffolo



SYNOPSIS:

A skilled young hockey prospect hoping to attract the attention of professional scouts is pressured to show that he can fight if challenged during his stay in a Canadian minor hockey town. His on-ice activities are complicated by his relationship with the coach's daughter.

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REVIEW:

This is a film that I've seen over a dozen times, and everytime I see it I don't really like it all that much. So why do I keep watching it? Well, it was one of those movies we had on VHS growing up and me and all my friends played hockey all the time, so Youngblood was just one of those movies we needed to keep on watching.

I grew up in Canada and like almost all Canadians hockey was very much a part of who we were. So when Hollywood decided to make a movie about Junior A hockey with the Brat Packer Rob Lowe as its star, we were all excited.

But the problem with a movie like this from a guy like me was that you keep cringing at the dramatic licenses used in the film. The hockey scenes just aren't that realistic. But most of us still like to watch it more than once because a bad hockey movie was better than no hockey movie.

After taking over a decade off from watching Youngblood, I popped the VHS copy into the machine and took a look at it. And I really didn't like it all that much, but not as bad as I did when I was a kid. It was fun to see Patrick Swayze and Rob Lowe attempt to be hockey players. In the editing room they had to keep jumping back and forth to their hockey stunt doubles to them because Lowe and Swayze just aren't hockey players.

And Swayze was about 35 at the time as he attempted to play a 20 year old who is a blue-chip prospect for the pros. Just a strange casting choice.

Funny moment in the film too was when I realized that the team's goalie is actually a very young Keanu Reeves attempting a very bad French Canadian accent. Keanu is Canadian as he's from Toronto, and the odds are that he actually played hockey as a kid. So in hindsight perhaps they should of made him the star instead of Rob Lowe.

But at the time Rob Lowe was a huge star, perhaps even more popular than Tom Cruise was. If he was a better businessman he easily could of had Cruise's career as he had that kind of potential. Then some bad career choices and a sex scandal (he videotaped himself having a threesome with some underage girls -- not the wisest choice) kind of ruined his career before a resurgance in the TV game when he entered his 40s.

The concept of Youngblood is as basic as it gets. Kid wins tryout as last minute add on for a Junior Hockey team, finds mentor in the team's best player, begins dating the coach's daughter, plays well, has downfall, has doubts, gets back on the horse, fights his great fears, plays in the big game and does well, and then wins everything in the end. This is plot point 101 for sports movies. And it's why this films are re-watched by many people. They represent great motivational tools for future and present athletes. We all want to win the big game and we all want to win the girl we're not supposed to have. It's every boy's dream.

Youngblood is a movie that is fun to watch because of all the bad moments in it. It's on top of the list for best 80s B movies.

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