"Celebrating Small Town Community Values in America"
What You Need To Know:
THE FINAL SEASON is a rousing sports drama that captures the heart of American baseball and America’s small town community values. Sean Astin, Powers Boothe and the actors are excellent. The only rough spots are too many sub-plots, some foul language and a reference to pursuing some marijuana, which is rebuked. Thus, THE FINAL SEASON rates a caution for children, especially younger ones, from MOVIEGUIDE®. That said, the movie is an inspiring uplifting story about courage, faith, determination, teamwork, and small-town virtues. It will cheer moviegoers on many different levels.
(BBB, PPP, C, LL, V, N, A, DD, M) Very strong moral, pro-America and pro-Americana worldview with a few positive references to God, prayer and Christianity; 15 obscenities and zero profanities; some scuffling between students and baseball action, including teen hit hard by pitched baseball; no sex, but teenagers hold hands and brief kissing between adult couple; partial upper male nudity; alcohol use and teen athlete mentions the future possibility of getting some beer for a high school baseball player if he performs well; smoking and a brief reference to scoring some marijuana, which is harshly rebuked; and, lying, teenage boy takes off in grandfather’s truck after being told not to but policeman catches up with him and he is rebuked, and teenage rebellion.
THE FINAL SEASON is a true story about the importance of small town community values in Middle America. Set in the early 1990s, it focuses on the last season of the champion high school baseball team in Norway, Iowa, a team that had won the Iowa state title 18 times in 21 years.
In 1990, a young volleyball coach from another town, Kent Stock (played by Sean Astin), gets to be assistant coach for the Tigers’ legendary coach, Jim Van Scoyoc (played by Powers Boothe). By 1990, the coach had led the Tigers to 11 of their 18 state trophies. That year, Kent is able to see first-hand just how Coach Van Scoyoc and the whole town have been able to keep the school’s championship spirit alive year after year. And, the Norway team goes all the way to win its 19th championship in 22 years.
One year was all that Kent had planned to give before moving to St. Louis. But, the next year, the mean school board president, supported by the state, pushes through a plan for the Norway school district to merge with the Madison, Iowa school district. Small towns in Iowa were struggling those days, and merging school districts is the only way to keep the public schools financially afloat (or so “they” say).
The Tigers coach leads the town in opposition to this plan, but they don’t have enough votes on the school board. In retaliation, the school board president forces the coach to give up coaching the baseball team in its final season in 1991. He thinks Kent will make the perfect patsy to lead the team to disaster, so he hires Kent to replace Coach Van Scoyoc.
At first, the president’s plan works like a charm, and the team struggles at the beginning of the season. In fact, the team’s supporters in Norway are so dejected that they have no confidence anymore in the team or themselves. Slowly but surely, however, Kent rallies his players and the town. Then, faced with seemingly insurmountable odds playing against two of the biggest, hottest school teams in Iowa baseball that year, Kent must rely on the team’s renewed faith and confidence. “Ask yourself one question,” he says to them. “How do you want to be remembered?”
THE FINAL SEASON is a rousing sports drama that captures the heart and spirit of American baseball and America’s small town community values. Sean Astin, Powers Boothe and the rest of the cast are excellent. The only rough spot, quality wise, is spending too much time on too many sub-plots. This dilutes the focus on Sean Astin’s character and his relationship with the players as they try to follow in the footsteps of Coach Van Scoyoc and the previous Norway High School teams. Though rated PG, the movie also has too many mostly light obscenities. There is also a reference to marijuana when a troubled teenager from Chicago asks another teen about getting some pot. The other boy harshly rebukes him, but this reference and the foul language rate a caution for children, especially younger ones, from MOVIEGUIDE®.
That said, the movie is an inspiring, morally uplifting story about courage, faith, determination, teamwork, and small-town virtues. It will cheer moviegoers on many different levels.