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American Underdog DVD Review: Zachary Levi Scores as Kurt Warner in Sentimental Faith-based NFL Biopic

Being driven by tireless personal perseverance and supportive relationships is a powerful aid in helping people overcome their present struggles and achieve their ultimate dreams. Former NFL quarterback, Kurt Warner is one such person who didn’t allow his initially meager circumstances define him; he eventually overcame his discouraging situation of being an undrafted free agent for a few years to become one of the most celebrated football players of the mid-late 1990s and 2000s. Warner’s inspirational story is chronicled in the new faith-based sports biopic, American Underdog.

The film is based on his 2000 book, All Things Possible, which he wrote with Michael Silver. The script for the screen adaptation was penned by Jon Erwin, David Aaron Cohen and Jon Gunn.

Erwin also directed and produced American Underdog with his brother, Andrew, under their collective name, The Erwin Brothers. The duo’s latest collaboration comes after they’ve become known for helming and producing such acclaimed Christian movies as I Can Only Imagine and I Still Believe.

American Underdog chronicles Warner’s (Zachary Levi) inspirational true story, as he went from working as a stockboy at a grocery store to becoming a two-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl champion and Hall of Fame quarterback. The drama centers on Kurt’s unique story and years of challenges and setbacks that could have derailed his aspirations to become an NFL player.

But just when his dreams seemed all but out of reach, Kurt receives support from his wife, Brenda (Anna Paquin) and encouragement from his family and coaches, including St. Louis Rams coach Dick Vermeil (Dennis Quaid). He perseveres and finds the strength to show the world the champion that he already is, as he delves into his 12-season career in the NFL, primarily with the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals.

American Underdog is an uplifting story that demonstrates how anything is possible when people have undeniable hope and faith in their abilities, enduring determination to achieve their goals and support from their family. The Erwin Brothers crafted an inspirational, emotional football film that appeals to the entire family; it not only glorifies the successes that athletes achieve on the field, but also emphasizes the importance of everyone finding comfort in the support of their relatives who offer them unconditional love.

Zachary Levi as Kurt Warner and Dennis Quaid as Dick Vermeil in American Underdog. Photo Credit: Michael Kubeisy/Lionsgate

Much of American Underdog‘s appeal also comes from Levi’s sincere portrayal of Warner, both in his successes on the football field and his marriage to Brenda and his relationships with their family, all of which were driven by his faith. The SAG Award-winning actor relied on his natural athleticism and a five-month training regimen he engaged in, as well as personal time he spent with Warner, during the movie’s production in order to authentically personify the real-life athlete on screen. As a result, Levi not only perfectly captured how the legendary former NFL quarterback physically played the game on the field, but also how he spiritually and emotionally relates to his wife and their children in their personal lives at home.

American Underdog is an emotionally relatable, inspirational faith-based sports biopic that features universal appeal. It not only captivates the interested of football fans who enjoy watching intense games unfold on the field, but also families who are determined to overcome adversity to achieve their goals and focus on the things that are most important in their lives.

Through The Erwin Brothers’ sentimental and engaging direction and Levi’s stellar performance as Warner, the film celebrate not only accomplishments, but also life’s overall purpose. The drama tells an authentic and compelling tale that emphasizes the importance of determination, perseverance against incredible odds and the support of family.

American Underdog was released on Digital this weekend by Lionsgate. The studio will also distribute the movie on 4K Ultra HD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack, DVD and On Demand on February 22.

Grade: A-

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

Karen Benardello
Karen Benardellohttps://cinemadailyus.com
As a life-long fan of films and television shows, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic in 2008. Karen has since been working in the press in New York City, including interviewing film and television casts and crews, writing movie and television news articles and reviewing films and televisions series. Some of her highlights include attending such local events as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and New York Comic-Con, as well as traveling across North America to attend such festivals as the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has been a member of the Women Film Critics Circle since 2012, and the New York Film Critics Online since 2019.

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