The Program (1993)

The Program came out when I was 12 years old. I know for a fact that I’ve seen this movie on the shelves of the local store many times over, which interested me because of my love of sports. I never actually watched the movie up until just the other night, when I streamed it online. When the credits hit and the final football game was played, I know why I never picked it up for 25 years. It wasn’t good.

Halle Berry and Omar Epps are both in the movie, while James Caan makes another starring role in a football movie. Meanwhile, Craig Sheffer plays star quarterback Joe Kane, who is madly in love with Kristy Swanson’s character Camille. So far the names I mentioned make it seem like this could be a solid movie. Nope, it really wasn’t.

Steroids, alcoholism, cover-ups, rehab, abuse, suicide, injuries, and mental instability are just some of the themes of the movie about a school that will go to great lengths to protect its image and produce a winning product on the field. You’ll wonder how things got so out of control, but come to realize the pressures associated with college football and success required at that level.

You’ll hate a majority of the characters for their stupid decisions because no matter how much they try, most of these guys got one foot in the hole and the other in the mouth. There really isn’t any guidance from anyone in the football program or school until serious problems that threaten people’s lives come to light.

I am curious on what you guys will think of The Program if you’ve seen it. Amazingly the audience loves the film with an 80% approval on, while critics gave it a 46%. On IMDb, the film has a 6.4 rating. Those are all generous scores, but then again most of those reviews are from years gone by. This film may have been at the top of the genre many moons ago, but in 2018 I don’t think it deserves a spot in anyone’s top 10 list, despite digging deep into the life of college football. 3/10

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