Mindless Laughs

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"Ten seconds left in the fourth quarter."

"Two outs and the bases are loaded."

"Third down at the 10-yard line."

The phrases bring people back to games long gone, where unified fans stood up as one. If not the real game, a movie will usually do, just as well.

With the American passion for organized competition, few things will choke up your average fan like a sports movie.

With their American principles, tense climaxes, and memorable music, a good sports movie will give a body something to remember.

"The Comebacks" wastes no time in tearing down as many of these honored sports traditions as possible.

The halftime briefing of "The Comebacks" is innocent enough. Coach Fields (David Koechner), wise in the ways of losing, takes on a football team without hope. With character, after-game study groups, and the musical memory "Don't Stop Believin'," the team makes it to the championships.

Meanwhile, Coach Fields' family comes together in love. Romance blooms in strangely expected places.

Back in the locker room, the real story comes out.

"Comebacks" exists to make fun of inspirational sports movie classics. The spoofs are often funny and sometimes creative. "The Comebacks" is an otherwise typical plot-free comedy.

I found one football reference amusing, if painfully true. Coach Fields reviews his football team's grades, and finds that they are passing all of their classes! Horrified, he locks them out of the field and demands commitment to the team. This scene demonstrates the stereotypical and strange nature of "The Comebacks" characters.

The main idea of "The Comebacks" is clever, and works best if you have seen a lot of sports movies. A little lighthearted joking at another movie can, with counseling, make another decent movie. "The Comebacks" is certainly funny, and few could resist a chuckle here and there.

In good conscience, however, I cannot recommend this movie. Go for mindless laughs if you will, but do not take the family to a movie set entirely in the gutter.

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