Starring: Brian Presley, Kurt Russell and Christine Lahti
Director: Brian Handfield
When a suicide goes sideways a man travels back in time to relive the most pivotal time in his life as a high school football Quarterback
Scott Murphy (Brian Presley) was the high school football player of the year, the star quarterback who had a full ride scholarship to Ohio and plans of a professional football career. One leg injury and fifteen years later Scott is a soybean farmer with a wife and two kids and a farm which is overleveraged and about to be foreclosed on. When Scott tries to do, what he thinks is his only way out of the mess, he finds himself transported back in time reliving the glory days of his youth and given a chance to right his wrongs and change his future.
I am a sucker for many things one of them being a sports movie and the other second chances, Touchback covers both of those in spades. Kurt Russell Is right at home as Coach Hand, the head coach who lets Scott know that the grass isn’t always greener and that small town life has its advantages, it’s nice to see Russell in another Football themed film having grown up repeatedly watching “The Best Of Times” as a child. Murphy as an older gent looks like a Brett Favre doppelganger replete with the baseball hat and graying beard.
Both written and directed by Brian Handfield the story of how Brian persevered and created the project could have been a movie unto itself. Handfield wrote the screenplay only to have it get put into development hell, he then took the screenplay and turned it into a novel, worked with Kevin Costner to flesh out the character of coach hand and ultimately landed Kurt Russell in his first indie film role.
While Touchback isn’t a movie that is going to change the world or go down in the pantheon of great sports films, it is a sentimental look at how communities can come together, the joys of small town life and particularly how life in the bright lights isn’t always the best life. Sometime you need to look at what you do have and appreciate it.
Grade – 84