Review by Dan Skip Allen
As a sports fan, I can say that being a part of a community or a team and a town is pretty special. The camaraderie you feel at being part of something bigger and greater than yourself is an incredible feeling. Having coached football and been part of some very good teams feels great. That being said, the college experience is even bigger and better than the high school experience. Having been to Clemson in South Carolina four times, I can say it's one of the best college environments in the entire country. It truly is a family atmosphere and community. As in Safety, they come together to help anyone in need, especially one of their own.
Safety depicts the events surrounding Ray McElrathbey (Ray Reeves) and his little brother, Fahmarr (Thaddeus J. Mixson). After health issues with their mother, Ray is forced to take Fahmarr into his college dorm. With the help of his teammates, his girlfriend Kaycee Stone (Corrine Foxx), and his coach Brad Simmons (James Badge Dale), Ray has to deal with taking care of a sibling. Feeding him and taking him to school is just a couple of things that become a struggle for him.
As far as sports films go, they have to inspire and pull at the heartstrings of the said person watching them. Safety does that. If you don't have a tear in your eye at the end of this film, you're just not human. This film has those moments in it. It doesn't have enough of them, though. The struggle Ray is going through is real, but they aren't as real as something like Rudy or The Express. That didn't mean this is a bad film because it's not. Disney and the filmmakers make sure it's a good film.
This film would be considered a football movie but there isn't much football in it. There are a lot of practice sequences, though. A few game sequences are okay, but not great. There have been other Disney football movies that are better in that aspect. They focused more on the relationships of Ray, his brother, girlfriend, and coaches. The more character-driven stuff is the meat and potatoes of the film.
Disney has cornered the market of inspiring sports films. This one is good, but not great. Still, Safety is a solid film with a very good story and message behind it. The setting was a character in the film and that was cool to see the film set on the campus of Clemson. Having been there, it was nice to see the film showing Howard's Rock and Death Valley, the stadium, and running down the hill. This is a very inspiring and entertaining film for football fans and anybody else looking to see something good in this tough year for a lot of people.
Safety is now streaming on Disney+.
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