May 1, 2023

80 FOR BRADY Earns Penalty Flags

80 FOR BRADY (Blu-ray)
2023 / 96 min
Review by Stinky the Destroyer😾

The 2017 Super Bowl was both the best and worst day of my life as a football fan. It was the best because my beloved Atlanta Falcons had made it to the big show for only the second time in their history, and for three glorious quarters, were kicking the crap out of the New England Patriots.

But it turned into the worst when those damn Patriots, led by life-size Ken doll Tom Brady, engineered the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. I was devastated, and as my family will attest, inconsolable for the rest of the evening (as well as a good part of Monday). So I’m gonna throw a penalty flag against 80 for Brady for not only forcing me to relive that painful day, but painting the Patriots’ comeback as some kind of inspirational underdog story.

The film gets another penalty flag for wasting the combined talents of Sally Field, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Rita Moreno, living legends who are working way, way below their pay grade. They don’t embarrass themselves or anything, but as four octogenarian Brady fans who impulsively decide to attend the Super Bowl in person, seeing them in such a disposable flick (already past its cultural expiration date) is kind of disheartening.

"Wow, even smell like a GOAT."
Predictably, the meandering narrative mines most of its “humor” from their age, operating with the conceit that old ladies winning pepper eating contests, tripping on edibles and busting a groove with young people is inherently funny. Elsewhere, the film throws in standard-issue subplots and manufactured sentiment, as well as a truckload of gratuitous cameos by celebrities nobody’s gonna know in ten years. Of course, Brady himself eventually shows up during the Super Bowl climax (in game footage as well as a few scripted scenes). Since he also co-produced the film, it gets a third penalty flag for playing too much like a vanity project.

But even with a final act that stretches credibility to the breaking point, I wouldn’t necessarily go so far as to say 80 for Brady is “bad.” But the whole thing is distressingly formulaic, more like a skillfully marketed product than an actual movie, with its four slumming stars serving as celebrity endorsements. 

And since I had to endure the Falcons’ humiliating Super Bowl collapse all over again, I gotta throw one last penalty flag…a personal foul for taunting.


FEATURETTES - “The Game Plan: Making 80 for Brady”; “The GOATS: Jane, Lily, Rita & Sally”; “The Visiting Team: Meet the Supporting Cast”; “The Largest Comeback in Super Bowl History” (aaarrrgh!)



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