American Underdog (Blu-ray Review)

There are three universal things that are known to unite people; music, food and sports. The third of those three has not failed to produce a number a timeless films in the genre such as Field of Dreams, Miracle and Sandlot, just to name a few. Every once in a while, the great sport of American football gets its due on the big screen. In the vain of gridiron greats such as Rudy and Friday Night Lights comes American Underdog, the biopic of Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, and yet, this film could be best described as not being a sports film and that depth proves to be a good thing.



Kurt Warner’s path to the NFL is a well documented one as he went from small college to arena league to bagging groceries and then to the top of the mountain. The all pro QB is played by Zachary Levi (Shazam!) with his girlfriend/wife played by Anna Paquin (True Blood). The story begins with the motivation of Warner’s youth and his fascination with the game early on. If flashbacks confuse you, worry not as this movie only looks forward and keeps the pace from faltering.

While the acting is proficient throughout the movie, the writing has a moment where it may come across somewhat hokey. This is especially the case when Warner and his wife-to-be first meet as the exchange can feel a bit off due to the cheese factor. Then again, when we first met our own significant others, was there not some awkwardness there?  Nevertheless, the sequence is short-lived and the story finds a way to mature from there as do the characters with their shared experiences. It’s those experiences that truly drive this film.  Yes, Kurt Warner is best known to the public as a football star, but the sport was just a means to an end for the man.  Who he is and what he overcame are the true backbones of the story here.


Clarity is key here and this film displays an a crisp picture that puts every bit of detail on display in 1080p.  The film’s palette shows up with a realistic resonance that ranges from the muted hues of a blizzard to the lush blues and yellows of the Rams’ jerseys under stadium lights.  You will pick up every helmet scuff and clothing seam as well. Visual noise is virtually non-existent here.

Other details include the M-PEG AVC coding and a 2.39:1 aspect ratio.


First, the standard audio critique as dialogue is of course delivered through the front channels, nothing too exciting there, but it’s some of those bone-jarring hits and crowd cheers that reverberate from all around.  It’s not a perfect score, and the bass isn’t a common denominator here, but rest assured that it gets the job done in a satisfying fashion.  The sound delivery is all wrapped up in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 package for your listening pleasure.


While the purchase also contains a DVD copy of the film, there is an impressive list of special features to view on the Blu-ray.  The only problem is some of them start to overlap into others and you ultimately get the fractions of the same extras within other extras.  With that being said, it’s still a decent amount of content and all the extras are in high definition.

  • Audio Commentary with Directors Andrew and Jon Erwin and Producer Kevin Downes
  • Inspired (16:08) – Casting for the film.
  • Making the Cut (13:45) – A look at the editing process of the film.
  • A Coach’s Faith (30:48) – Self-proclaimed football fanatic, SNL’s Heidi Gardner interviews former Rams Head Coach Dick Vermeil.
  • New to the Scene: Hayden Zaller (6:10) – Introducing the young actor who plays Brenda Warner’s son.
  • Meet the Champion (14:49) – Interview with Kurt Warner and the film’s director tandem.
  • Behind the Game (8:13) – Deciding what kind of film this was going to be and incorporating the football action sequences within.
  • American Underdog: Behind the Story (3:39) – A brief synopsis of the Kurt Warner story.
  • Deleted Scenes (17:44)
  • Theatrical Trailer (2:21)
  • Also From Lionsgate (4:47) – Trailers featuring two additional Lionsgate movies



American Underdog is a movie that firmly stands on its own two legs and knows exactly what it is.  It has a strong focus on family and perseverance with a bit of faith added to further highlight the type of people Kurt Warner and his wife are. It is unfortunate it did not have a better box office showing when it arrived at  cinemas in late December. Then again, it was going up against the behemoth known Spider-Man: No Way Home, so don’t let any financial shortcomings turn you away.  It is a film that can be appreciated and enjoyed by the whole family and can provide some great motivation at the same time. It may not be in the top 10 movies of 2021, but it is still 112 minutes well spent.




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