A Shot At Glory

A Shot At Glory

A Shot At Glory is a staggeringly bad film which is packed with every sporting cliche under the sun. It tells the story of an imaginary Scottish football team in the second division who go on a dramatic run in the cup. Robert Duvall stars and produces this poor effort and manages to squeeze out the single worst Scottish accent you will ever hear.

The story is your usual sporting tale of the backward underdogs against the odds. Throw in an arrogant star striker (Ally McCoist would you believe) who is feuding with his father-in-law manager (played by Duvall) and you have all the ingredients for an awful waste of time.

Michael Keaton pops up as the retarded yank owner of the fictional "Kilnockie" football team. He wants to move the team to Ireland, presumably nobody pointed out to him that Ireland isn´t in Scotland. For some reason he expects to make a profit, with a second division Scottish side. Naturally the team will get to stay where they are if they can achieve the impossible and win the cup.

The story is like a list of sporting cliches stolen from other films and haphazardly slammed together here. Duvall is the tough taking but emotionally stunted manager, the team are rubbish but have big hearts, except of course the star striker who is squandering his talent. Duvall used to be the Rangers boss and this sets up the inevitable final showdown where he is supposed to get revenge with his team of underdogs.

The whole film has that American patronisation about it, these fat headed yanks who believe just because their ancestor was driven out of Scotland several decades ago that they are somehow Scottish. Instead of researching the football scene in Scotland they wade in with an Americanised bunch of gibberish. Any football fan will immediately spot a load of stupid statements and misinterpretations of our hallowed game.

Duvall is laughable; he truly gives one of the worst acting performances I have ever seen. His random mutterings and hilarious facial expressions do provide some comic relief, as does the acting of Ally McCoist, but you have to wonder what such a well respected actor is doing here. Why did nobody tell him that he sounds demented and rarely utters even a word in a convincing Scottish accent?

The script is nothing short of awful with the exception of some Scottish slagging, we are good at insults. Some of the scenes had me laughing out loud, like the team training in a grain warehouse, Rocky style, lifting bags of the cement and the like. The whole film is entirely predictable except for the end scene where they suddenly break the cliche theme and unexpectedly lose, but even this is transformed into a syrupy nauseating happy ending.

It was fun to watch for novelty value, seeing Scotland on film is always nice and seeing a bunch of Scottish footballers trying to act is a sort of entertainment. You´ll also see McCoist painted as a Celtic player (they have literally used Rangers footage and coloured the strip green).

I´m just sick of the American view of Scotland, the twee bagpipe nonsense, the dour cloth capped miner and picturesque wee towns with cobbled streets. None of it has anything to do with modern Scottish football. The film was obviously made for an American audience and so it isn´t that surprising that I thought it was terrible - watch for laughs only.

Reviewed by Simon Hill

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