A strange hybrid of Native American folklore and good old American team sports, Steve Rash’s new movie, Crooked Arrows, is a film you want to like, want to be inspired by, but instead you spend 105 minutes as a modern day soothsayer: predicting everything before it happens in this giant cinematic cliché.
Brandon Routh plays the super slick Joe Logan, a hot shot businessman who has all but forgotten the true meaning of Native American half of his identity; instead, he is only interested in using his tribal grounds to build a gargantuan casino. The premise mirrors that of nearly every other pre-pubescent sports film, albeit with different players and enemies. The tribe agrees to allow Joe to build his gambling paradise under one condition: he has to coach their high school lacrosse team so that they can conquer the white prepsters.
You can probably smell what is cooking already: a big batch of the rich-man-learns-about-the-more-important-things-in-life cookies. Everything in the film is about Joe learning that fancy cars aren’t everything and that money can’t buy happiness. Which is true (at least we want to believe this is true), but most movies try and find a creative way of conveying this core human message. Unfortunately, there is nothing remotely creative going on in Crooked Arrows. From the boring stock dialogue to the endlessly cheesy plotline, it is the same old story told exactly like, well, the same old story.
The acting is as weak as the rest of the film. Aside from providing occasional moments of swoonery by displaying his chiseled abs, Routh’s performance is embarrassingly complacent and lacks all luster. Given the fact that he is supposed to be playing a mixed-race man confronting racial realities and undergoing an epiphany, it would have been nice if Routh could have demonstrated some emotional depth somewhere.
Crooked Arrows is a movie that you take your 11 year-old nephew to see because he has just started playing lacrosse and doesn’t care about things like character development yet. Otherwise, there are plenty of other new movies out this summer that are worth your time and money.