NEXT GOAL WINS is a sports comedy about the hapless soccer team of American Samoa. The team starts a record-breaking losing streak in 2001, when Australia beats the team 31 to zero in international competition. In 2011, the head of the soccer federation in Samoa, a devout Christian, gets fed up with the team never scoring a goal. For the first time, he hires an experienced coach from outside the territory. The man is a controversial, troubled Dutch-born coach working in the United States. The new coach has trouble relating to the players, however.
NEXT GOAL WINS is a funny, quirky comedy with lots of heart. It stresses faith, prayer, church, and overcoming differences to work together toward one goal. Sadly, however, the movie’s Christian worldview is marred by an antinomian, politically correct attitude toward one of the team’s defensive players. The young man, a famous real-life player in international soccer, is in the process of changing his sex. NEXT GOAL WINS also has a slightly excessive number of obscenities and profanities. So, media-wise moviegoers will find the movie unacceptable.
(CC, BB, FRFR, PCPC, HoHo, LLL, V, S, A, M)
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Christian worldview stresses faith, prayer, church, overcoming differences to work together toward one goal, and dealing with grief in a more positive way, marred by an antinomian (lawless), unbiblical, politically correct attitude toward transgender issues
23 obscenities (including one “f” word and about 15 “s” words), one Jesus profanity, two light profanities
Some soccer game violence, some of which is funny
No sex scenes, but one character is an effeminate young man with long hair who’s in the process of changing his sex, which the movie treats in a politically correct manner
Man has a drinking problem, but there are no scenes of drunkenness
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
Man has anger issues, but he overcomes them.
NEXT GOAL WINS is a sports comedy about the national soccer team of American Samoa, which experienced a record-breaking losing streak for 10 years from 2001, when Australia beat the team 31 to zero, to 2011, when the team tries to rally under a new coach from outside the territory, a controversial, troubled Dutch-born coach working in the United States. NEXT GOAL WINS is a funny, heartwarming, quirky comedy about a lovable group of underdogs, with a strong Christian worldview focusing on the Christian background of most of the players and the president of the Samoan soccer federation, but the story also focuses on one player, an effeminate young man with long hair who’s in the process of “transitioning” to a woman.
Based on a British documentary by the same name, the movie opens with the infamous 2001 match with Australia. Despite the lopsided 31-0 score, there’s one bright spot to the loss. Although the Samoan goalie, Nicky Salapu, lets 31 shots get by him, he stopped 60!
Ten years later, the team is still on an incredible losing streak. They’ve lost 37 more games in a row and haven’t even scored one goal. The president of the territory’s soccer federation, a devout Christian named Tavita, is frustrated by all the losses. He decides they need to hire an experienced coach from outside the territory. All he asks is for the team to score at least one goal in a game, and that’s what he asks God to give them.
Meanwhile, Thomas Rongen, a former Dutch-born player in the Netherlands and the United States and a long-time coach in Major League Soccer, based in America, gets into trouble in 2011 with the United States Soccer Federation because of anger issues coaching the national Under 20 team. Thomas is separated from his wife, Gail, and gets jealous because she’s in a romantic relationship with the leader of the Federation’s board of directors, Alex. So, Alex forces Thomas to go to American Samoa to coach the losing soccer team.
The islands are a cold slap of culture shock for Thomas. For example, Tavita explains to him that everyone stops what they’re doing when the town’s church bells go off every afternoon. It becomes, clear, however, that Thomas is a troubled man. He’s a hothead with a drinking problem. He also gets really angry at the team’s lackadaisical attitude toward training.
Eventually, the story is not just about helping the team to become better soccer players. It’s also about helping Thomas overcome the demons haunting him.
NEXT GOAL WINS is a funny, quirky comedy with lots of heart. Director Taiki Waititi opens and closes the movie by having the priest of Tavita’s church, a wild looking guy with a handlebar mustache and a robe with a tie-dyed picture of Jesus on the front, introducing the story of faith, hope and perseverance. The movie also includes several heartfelt prayers led by Tavita, with other characters joining him.
Sadly, the movie’s strong Christian worldview is marred by an antinomian, politically correct attitude toward one of the team’s defensive players, an effeminate young man with long hair named Jaiyah, who’s in the process of transitioning into a woman. Jaiyah has a tendency to become distracted and start playing with his hair during practice. This irks Thomas to no end, and he keeps berating the young man’s lack of focus. Eventually, however, Thomas become more accepting, and Jaiyah realizes he also needs an attitude adjustment. Jaiyah is a real-life character and is the first “transgender” player in international soccer.
NEXT GOAL WINS also has a slightly excessive number of obscenities and profanities, including one “f” word and one strong profanity.
Media-wise moviegoers probably will find the movie unacceptable because of its content issues.
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