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Review: Murderball

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Murderball is a smashing documentary about quadriplegics in wheelchairs. But it isn’t depressing. And it sure as hell isn’t sappy. It is real, raw, foul and funny.

It follows Team USA’s Quad Rugby Team from the 2002 World Championship in Sweden to the 2004 Paralympics in Athens, Greece. Along the way we see the team’s rivalry with Team Canada, reasons why being a quadriplegic doesn’t hurt your sex life, and some Grade A pranks.

The members of Team USA have found themselves in wheelchairs for various reasons: car wrecks, fights, disease. Whatever the reason, it sure hasn’t slowed these guys down. They play a type of rugby originally known as “Murderball” and it is a rough, tough version of the full-contact sport on wheels – a version of the game that helps restore hope and independence to people around the globe.

In addition to introducing us to the players and the rules of the game, Murderball provides a glimpse into the lives of some pretty amazing athletes. They just happen to be quadriplegics. We meet their families and girlfriends. We see their friendships with each other. We see the rehab involved after an accident and the training to become a world-class athlete. But you also see that other than the fact that they spend their lives sitting, there really isn’t a difference between a quadriplegic and someone with full function in all of their limbs. They have jobs, they like to party, they get tattoos, and they enjoy sex.

The camera work is impressive, including the shot from beneath a wheelchair. The editing is fast paced to match the intensity of the game. And the soundtrack is so fitting it is eerie.

So whether you are a fan of humor or action, drama or sports, Murderball is definitely a film worth seeing.

Check out the trailer.

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  • Eric Berlin picked this for an Editor’s Pick of the Week. Go find out why HERE and grab a button.

    Thank you.