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I Don't Want Your Life: Touchback Trailer

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | March 1, 2012 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | March 1, 2012 |

Finally, a film about how high school football is the most important force in the universe, and one that can only be properly portrayed by 35 year olds playing high school students. Touchback was completed in 2011 but has been floating around for most of the last year, presumably because the studio was waiting for a dead enough period of the year to release it in. The bad news is that the movie looks like a waste, but the good news is that the entire story is told in the trailer:

Hollywood has a myopic inability to see its own biases sometimes. It tries to make a film relevant with our moldering economy, with the thousands who face dead ends of no opportunity, of impending foreclosures and tomorrows looking bleaker than yesterday. They choose to portray this with a star quarterback who hurt his leg. I’m a cold hearted bastard perhaps, but I can’t think of a character who I care less about. What about the offensive line? The entire defense? What about the cheerleaders, the band, the waterboys? The kids in the stands? The protagonist bemoans losing his lottery ticket, when nobody else even had one in the first place.

Do they even know what a touchback is in football? Oh sure, it sounds like it works as a clever play on words about going back, fitting for a little time travel flashback flick. But it actually even works better than they intended. A touchback happens when the ball goes into the endzone and the receiving team decides not to run it back out. It means that you’re handed the ball and you decide it’s not worth trying, and just take a knee for the free twenty yards instead of trying for something great. A touchback is a surrender in miniature.

Brilliantly, the ad that rolled after the trailer in my case was that advertisement of a special olympic runner with the wicked curved metal artificial leg. Their own advertising is refuting their film. We carve out our own lives, we make our own damn fates. That common sort of heroism gets overlooked except when prefaced with tripe like “the real heroes are…” but it’s beautiful nonetheless, and a hell of a lot more compelling than yet another whining movie quarterback.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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