the mediocrity of the genre..
Any Given Sunday
Any Given Sunday is a character driven sport drama about the inner world and politics that brews in behind the football games. With unnecessary slow motions, edgy and benign camera work and amateur editing the feature shucks aways its own integrity before it build up a definite mannerism. The semantics of the tale is off putting as it either is raw dry news or over thought out shallow emotional drama. There is not a single piece of loose thread among these many characters and their plot tracks that urges the viewers to root for more or even accept the offered banal ideology. The conversations are pragmatic with some intriguing even though textbook and one dimensional characters, that is tossed decently by the performers in here. The annoyingly loud argumentative conversations, scattered structure and cheesy one liners are the primary anchors why it sinks so bad. The background score is loud, the set pieces are bling, the cinematography is daft and editing is more questionable than feasible. Pacino's portrayal is moving and effective but as the characteristics and substance offered to the character is irritatingly loud henceforth fails to create the anticipated impact. The supporting characters are just chess pieces that seem to have misplaced and existed only to sacrifice to drive the track to the pit and with a water thin material as such Diaz, Foxx and Quaid fails to deliver. Stone's attempt to offer the football fans the time of their life, unfortunately wasn't planned or polished to even be what it was in the script; swing and a miss. Conversations between Pacino and Foxx and Pacino's monologues and ideology are the only high points of the feature. Any Given Sunday is not a disappointment because it ain't well crafted, it is misconceived because it fails to even live up to the mediocrity of the genre.
A poorly written, terribly executed, overly long, and over the top melodrama, Any Given Sunday is a football film that was lukewarm at the time of it's release, and one that has rotted horribly. This movie is over-confident in how good it is, and it makes many mistakes. For one, the same shots are reused and super imposed over each other time and time again, and this comes off as lazy rather than as meaningful repetition. Second, numerous title drops come off as over indulgent rather than organic. Third, this movie compares itself to Ben-Hur, and even portraying football as war does not even put this movie in the same ballpark as Ben-Hur. Fourth, the acting is all over the place, with some decent performances sprinkled in, but most scenes are so over the top and unbelievable that I found myself thinking this was a comedy.
There are many better football films out there than Any Given Sunday. I highly encourage you to watch those instead. The only reason this film gets a 2 instead of a 0 is because there are some good performances (Al Pacino's speech at the climax, for instance) and the ensemble cast does mesh well on the rare occasion they are allowed to interact with each other instead of worshipping football as some holy transcendent ideal without ever making the argument for it.