Slap Shot (1977) / Comedy-Drama
MPAA Rated: R for nudity and language
Running Time: 123 min.
Cast: Paul Newman, Strother Martin, Michael Ontkean, Jennifer Warren, Lindsay Crouse
Director: George Roy Hill
Screenplay: Nancy Dowd
Review published November 28, 1996
A player/coach (Newman, The Sting) of a last-place bush-league hockey team devises a plan to turn around the team's success and sell more tickets: beating the crap out of the other teams.
This cult-classic hockey comedy is well-loved among hockey fans probably due to being one of very few credible attempts to have covered the sport, but to those who don't have a passion for the game this may be little more than an overrated bore. Some people find it to be hysterical, but the drama seems to work better than the comedy, with too much emphasis on being outrageous than in inspired funniness.
The film has an almost non-existent plot or purpose, and meandered for over 2 hours aimlessly with little more than hackneyed zaniness to try to make up for a lack of ideas. This isn't to say it's all bad -- the acting is competent, and there have definitely been worse films of this type, but one should really expect more from a movie that stars an actor of Newman's caliber and a director who's done much better.
©1996 Vince Leo