It’s currently 3:00 a.m. and I intentionally stayed up waiting for Netflix to release Home Team. I feel this is important to mention, because it explains where my life is at right now. That I, a legal adult with actual responsibilities, waited up until 3:00 a.m. in anticipation of a movie where Kevin James plays Sean Payton.
I mention this for two reasons: Firstly, this isn’t intended to be a movie review. That’s not really my core competency. Secondly, it’s 3:00 a.m. and I made it 27 seconds into a movie where Kevin James is playing Sean Payton, and this all feels like a fever dream. Let’s go.
So things open up with highlights of Super Bowl XLIV when the Saints beat the Colts, and I’m blown away by how obvious they’re making Payton’s gum chewing a thing. I mean, the dude likes to chew gum during games, and his love of Juicy Fruit is known — but James is over here chawing non-stop, mouth open, like a cow with its cud. What the hell is going on here?
Then, a few minutes later, I get my answer. An assistant knocks on the door of Payton’s office and his first words are “Can you give me a piece of Juicy Fruit?” then a long, lingering close up on packs of the gum in a bowl. WE’RE 2:48 IN AND THERE’S ALREADY PRODUCT PLACEMENT FOR GUM! THAT WAS THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE WEIRD CHEWING TO START THE MOVIE ... TO GET TO THIS SHOT OF A GUM BOWL!
As far as this movie tells us, Sean Payton doesn’t own a single piece of clothing that isn’t Saints gear. We had this long, pensive shot of him drinking a glass of scotch and watching ESPN after being suspended for Bounty Gate, and he’s in his living room wearing full team gear and a visor. Moments later, when he decides to go to Texas to see his family, he walks into a hotel lobby — again, in full Saints gear. Then he heads to the rural stadium to see his son’s team play, again, full Saints gear. It’s weird and ...
CREEPY ROB SCHNEIDER SIGHTING.
We made it 8:51 before Adam Sandler put another of his friends in this thing. Lol, omg he’s the new man in Payton’s ex-wife’s life. So somewhere in an alternate universe a woman left Kevin James to be with Rob Schneider. That is a cursed sentence.
I have absolutely no idea who this movie was made for. It’s not funny, and as far as I can tell it’s not really trying to be a comedy. It’s also not a drama, because they sprinkle in these jokes that never land, while also attempting to tell a deep story of parental reconciliation as Payton tied to make up for lost time with his son.
Taylor Lautner is fine. I’m mentioning this because I feel bad for not saying anything about him.
This movie is just insufferable. They’re finding every possible way to drag out one story beat for as long as possible. Oh God there’s 58 minutes left. How is there still an hour of this movie? It feels like it’s been going for two hours already.
So, we get the most illuminating scene of this movie so far. Slowly breaking down the walls with his son, a late night chat results in Payton’s son asking him if he was responsible for Bounty Gate. They just gloss over this with him saying “it’s complicated,” and he adds “when you’re the head coach it’s all on you.” So they’re just going to ignore this whole thing.
I think I worked out the issue here. There’s no antagonists in this entire movie. That’s why it feels so slow and boring. I’m an hour in and there’s no motivation for anything happening on the screen. We just had the obligatory “underdog starts to win” montage, but there’s no big bad team for them to beat, there’s no goal. It just meanders from scene to scene with nothing of not happening.
So, the team has turned it around and they’re talking about the “big game,” so this has to be wrapping up soon, right? HOW ARE THERE 44 MINUTES LEFT?! HOW HAS THIS ONLY BEEN 14 MINUTES?!
Okay, here we have an antagonist. There’s a team called “The Porcupines” and they’re clearly evil. The opposing coach is mocking Sean Payton. Nobody mocks Sean Payton — and the local news is reporting on this rural Texas pee wee game. So now the whole motivation is to beat the Porcupines I guess.
We just had a five minute aside where the team wants to help the kicker in his love life. Clearly he’s never talked to his crush before, but it’s Payton’s bright idea to have the team come and serenade her, at her house, at night, to win her love. Again, she’s NEVER TALKED TO THIS KID, so it’s basically stalking. They release some lanterns and one burns down a tree and destroys the family’s van. The scene closes with the girl’s mom in tears. There is no resolution.
Everyone is projectile vomiting in slow motion during a game now because they ate snacks made by Rob Schneider. They’re using the puke as a weapon against the opponents. This is the stupidest thing so far and this movie was already really dumb.
So it’s the championship game and Payton is taking this all way too seriously. All of the kids are hating football and he’s turned into a tyrant. After getting called out he’s rediscovered the love of the game and now we’ve got the big comeback montage. On the most important play of the game he’s putting in the lowly, struggling kicker to get his choice at glory, because some things are more important than winning.
He missed and hit the scoreboard, and it exploded for some reason. Now the scoreboard is burning and fireworks are spewing out of it. Why was this rigged with pyrotechnics?
OH MY GOD SEAN PAYTON IS A JANITOR AND HE IS WEARING A WIG IN THE FINAL SCENE OF THIS MOVIE!
Payton put the second place trophy in front of the Lombardi Trophy in his office, because he learned a valuable lesson about life. I learned a lesson too: This movie sucked. I’m going to bed.