“Taika Waititi’s Kickin’ Soccer Comedy”
Taika Waititi, the director who’s given us a Norse god in Thor, quirky vampires, and even comedic Nazis, is back with something different – a soccer comedy called “Next Goal Wins.” It’s not the offbeat ride we’re used to from Waititi, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a watch. Let’s dive into this sports movie that’s aiming for goals, both on the field and on your screen.
Taika The Plot Kick-Off: Not Your Usual Waititi Flick
Taika Waititi’s known for throwing curveballs, but “Next Goal Wins” surprises by keeping it pretty straightforward. It’s a fact-based sports movie that’s warm, eager to please, and oddly conventional compared to Waititi’s usual quirky endeavors. Premiering alongside “The Killer” on Netflix, this one’s taking a different route – it’s headed to theaters first but might find its true home on streaming platforms.
Meet the MVP Taika: Michael Fassbender’s Game-Changing Role
In this soccer flick, the spotlight’s on Michael Fassbender, known for his roles in Marvel and a range of unique movies. Here, he steps into the cleats of Thomas Rongen, a soccer coach down on his luck, handed the task of turning around the struggling American Samoa team. Forget winning; their simple mission is to score a goal, something they’ve never managed in international play.
Rongen’s a tight ball of nerves, and he’s not exactly the perfect match for a laid-back island where speed limits top out at 20 miles per hour, and daily life pauses for prayer. Add in a squad of eccentric players, including Jaiyah (Kaimana), a trans player in the 2011 setting of the film, and Rongen has his work cut out for him.
Taika Goals and More: Elisabeth Moss in the Mix
While soccer takes center stage, there’s a side plot involving Elisabeth Moss as Rongen’s estranged wife. Unfortunately, Moss is somewhat underused, leaving fans wanting more of her screen time. However, the heart of “Next Goal Wins” lies in challenging the notion that winning is everything. Taika Waititi, co-writing the script with Iain Morris, brings his signature playfulness, throwing in his version of an inspiring locker-room speech and even a nod to “The Karate Kid” in the training regimen.
Charm in Simplicity: Unpretentious Fun
“Next Goal Wins,” shot in Hawaii, doesn’t boast the usual Waititi rule-breaking antics. Instead, its charm comes from its sheer unpretentiousness. The film feels light and enjoyable, equipped with likable characters and scenic locales. It might be disposable in the grand scheme, but sometimes, a feel-good soccer comedy is just what you need.
Closing Whistle: A Score for the Light-Hearted
As “Next Goal Wins” hits the theaters and streaming platforms, it stands as a testament to Taika Waititi’s versatility. It might not be as wild as his previous works, but it scores with its unassuming charm. So, whether you’re a soccer fan or just looking for a lighthearted escape. This one might just be the goal you’ve been waiting for. Kick back, relax, and enjoy the game – because in the end, it’s not always about winning; sometimes, it’s just about having fun on the field.