If you've ever found yourself sitting through "Hoosiers" or "Remember the Titans" or "We Are Marshall" and wondering, "Jeez, why aren't there more inspirational rugby pictures?" your day has come.
"Forever Strong" is a deeply standard sports-triumph movie. The triumph, though, isn't over paralysis, poverty, or the whole team being killed in a terrible plane crash. In "Forever Strong" the adversity is our hero's obnoxiousness.
Rick Penning plays wing for a top rugby outfit in Scottsdale coached by his dad. Rick parties, drinks, and thinks the world of himself. He's a strapping young man played by the strapping young actor Sean Faris, who was last seen in "Never Back Down," doing flying kicks at keg parties. A nasty DUI severely injures his girlfriend and lands him a year in a juvenile correction facility, where he beats up his fellow inmates, insults Sean Astin, who plays his instructor, but manages to get recruited anyway for the rival rugby team that cleaned Scottsdale's clock at the start of the film.
All that's required for Rick to remove the chip from his shoulder is the random death of one his new teammates, the very one who keeps pushing him to respect his coach, the intense practices, and the game. Directed by Ryan Little and written by David Pliler, the movie is a sentimental deodorant commercial. Your eyes might stay dry, but your armpits will almost certainly tear up.