Feel-good movies are starting to make me feel bad. How many times can you wring tears from the same material? Many times, and many more to come, it seems. Even the most lumbering ones can wring juice from too-familiar plots. “Crooked Arrows” is a cheerful, third rung “crowd-pleaser” directed by Steve Rash, whose latest work includes a spate of sequels to other directors’ work, including “American Pie Presents Band Camp,” “Bring It On: In It to Win It” and “Bring It On: All or Nothing.” While not a sequel, “Crooked Arrows” is an optimistically generic contemporary programmer. Logline: Underdog Native American lacrosse team hopes to win prep school league tournament. Shorter logline: Wonder who wins? Still the formula wins; the heartstrings are given mighty plucks. Brandon Routh (“Superman Returns”) plays the manager of the apocryphal tribe’s casino; mumbo-jumbo about real estate deals and tribal ritual flood full-force on the way to the pivotal championship. With Crystal Allen, Gil Birmingham, Michael Hudson, Chelsea Ricketts. 100m. (Ray Pride)
“Crooked Arrows” opens Friday at six suburban locations, including Northbrook Court, Orland Park Cinemas, Woodfield and Naperville Showplace. The trailer offers a taste of what you already know you’re going to get.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published soon. Previews of the project are on Twitter and on Instagram as Ghost Signs Chicago. More photography on Instagram.