Rudy: The Old School Review

I have heard of the movie but unfortunately I haven’t had the time to watch it. I was lucky enough though to catch the last 60 minutes of the movie via the Maxxx Channel.

My conclusion: Now I know why it’s called as one of the greatest sports films of all-time.

The Story: Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger wants to attend Notre Dame and play college football. He never skips practice, he barely complains, his spirit is unwavering, and it seems like he could be the perfect athlete. Unfortunately, he’s not the perfect athlete. He plays defense whose primary objective is to “kill” the quarterback’s chance to dish the ball for a touchdown. Not only is he undersized for his position, he basically has no skills to make the coach believe in his talent. This is why playing 120% every practice session is important to him: because if his work ethic gets noticed, this could land him a place to suit up for his beloved Notre Dame.

However, fate proved too rough for Rudy. After three seasons of getting thrashed in practice, all hopes of suiting up were dashed when Notre Dame experienced coaching change. Rudy was pissed and with his senior year slowly fading away, he finally realized that a NCAA football game for him is futile. However, the heart he showed rubbed off on everyone whose lives were touched by the diminutive tackler and this prompted him to return and be satisfied on his position. His teammates in return, pleaded for the coach to suit Rudy up in their final game of their regular season.

Notre Dame demolished Georgia Tech which basically called for the coach to rest his starters and give the seniors playing time. The coach isn’t really biting on inserting Rudy to the game. A “Rudy” chant broke across the stadium and the coach had no choice but to insert Rudy with 27 seconds left in the game (the offense connected with a Hail Mary touchdown pass which prompted the defensive to get playing time). The opposing team’s quarterback threatened for a touchdown of his own but Rudy got passed the offensive line to sack the QB to the delight of the crowd! Look it up, but that 1975 game was the first time a Notre Dame player was ever carried off the field.

The reason why he joined Notre Dame was because he loves to be part of their tradition. Not only did he get his 15 seconds of fame, he also got a diploma... and a future to show off to everyone that doubted his potential throughout the years.

What I Liked:

Sean Astin played his role well here. For every athletically impaired Tom, Dick, and Harry, this movie played it well. The football scenes are done beautifully and it really seems accurate. The story was cool as if it was written for sports goers. The buildup to the climax was also steady and while everyone expected to see a happy ending, the way it was presented was awesome. The real-life Rudy was also in attendance playing a fan in the scene where Rudy gets to play.

What I Hated:

I can’t say I hated the flick. However, maybe if I saw this earlier in my life, I would have been more fascinated. The thing is, I would have done away with the sappy out-of-the-field scenes. Sure, they needed to build up Rudy as a sappy loser but for some insane reason, I saw Jon Favreau’s character like “Richie Cunningham in Happy Days”, I saw Charles J. Button’s character as too “Dean Stockwell from Quantum Leap”, and I saw Vince Vaughn’s character as too that evil-turned-good QB from The Waterboy. Come to think of it, the movie reminds me a lot of Waterboy minus Adam Sandler and his jokes and that Herculean strength that propels a crappy school to greatness.

But hey, perhaps the Waterboy, much like a lot of underdog sports flicks took parts from Rudy.

The Verdict: In all, Rudy was a very enjoyable film that men and women could get a kick from. Maybe next time I’ll get my chance to score a Field of Dreams .AVI file.

Until then...



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