We've all seen this story before. There is no new ground to tread. It always seems like these inspirational films are the same story, only the names and places are different. It doesn't seem to matter if they are based on a true story, or completely constructed in the writer's head, the end result is always the same. This movie is a cliche, sure it's based on a true story, but that doesn't make this story any less cliche than the made up tales.
Simply being cliche does not necessarily make a movie bad. The story can be told in such a way, or the characters written/acted in such a way, so a sense of freshness can be somewhat faked. I don't mean faked in a bad way, but there has to be some sort of manipulation on the part of the creative to make you want to spend your money and sit in a dark theater for two hours. That begs the question, is Gridiron Gang creative enough to be worth spending that time? My answer is yes.
This tale is the story of Sean Porter, a probation officer at a juvenile detention center, Camp Kilpatrick. Porter is struggling with the fact that 75% of those troubled youths passing through their doors end up dead or back in jail. Looking for some way to possibly make a dent, Porter decides to start up a football program.
The reasoning behind starting a football team is it will help teach teamwork, respect, and hard work. Everything these kids could use to better their lives if they translate the ideals into real life experience. So, Sean Porter and his assistant Malcolm Moore, select a team from those under their care, much to the dismay of their superiors who seem to have written these kids off.