Commentary

April 13, 2012

Fly Over: Touchback

Written by: Capt. Tristan Hinderliter
More articles by »
Touchback movie poster
W

hat if you could go back and have a chance to redo the most important, tragic and pivotal day of your life? Would you make different decisions, knowing it would change your life’s trajectory?

That is the opportunity, and dilemma, facing Scott Murphy (played by Brian Presley) in “Touchback,” a film written and directed by Don Handfield. Presley is best known for his TV credits, which include “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “7th Heaven,” and “General Hospital.”

Part drama, part fantasy, in “Touchback,” the Sci Fi Channel meets Lifetime meets ABC Family. In many ways, it struck me as a modern take on a famous movie from the 1940s, which I won’t name so as to avoid spoilers.

The movie starts in the town of Coldwater, Ohio, in 1991. We see Murphy as the star quarterback of his high school football team win the state championship on the final play of the game. While diving into the end zone, however, he badly mangles his left leg, ending his football career and his dreams of getting out of the town he and his teammates derisively call “Backwater.”

Fast forward 15 years. Murphy, now with a beard, crow’s feet around his eyes and 30 extra pounds on his gut, is a farmer in Coldwater with a wife and two young daughters. He walks with a limp and inexplicably still wears a cumbersome brace on his left leg.

While he seems happy in his home life, his family is struggling financially. Circumstances deteriorate and he attempts suicide. The attempt apparently fails, but when he comes to, it’s the fall of 1991 and he has been reincarnated as a senior in high school, replete with his letter jacket and platinum blonde cheerleader girlfriend.

The championship game is coming up, again, and he must decide what choices to make this time around.

We can forgive the fact that a 34-year-old man is playing an 18-year-old high school football player; this of course happens all the time in Hollywood. With his golden boy good looks, Presley is convincing as Murphy, the quintessential high school jock, known – as we are reminded many times throughout the film – as “Mr. Football,” a title bestowed on him for being the best high school football player in the state.

Kurt Russell is great in a supporting role as Coach Hand, and a good ensemble of relatively unknown actors fills out the cast. The somewhat frumpy New Zealand-born actress Melanie Lynskey has a good turn as Murphy’s unlikely wife.

The movie does not examine how concepts of fate or free will come into play – that film would have been better and more interesting. Like Murphy himself, “Touchback” takes the time travel and reincarnation at face value, as just a stroke of good luck. Still, for a PG-13, family-oriented flick, it’s pretty good.

Touchback is rated PG-13.



About the Author

Capt. Tristan Hinderliter
Capt. Tristan Hinderliter
Tristan Hinderliter is a full-time Public Affairs Officer and part-time pop culture critic. When he's not listening to the Adam Carolla Podcast, he's usually watching movies. His favorite directors include David Lynch, Paul Thomas Anderson, the Coen Brothers, Martin Scorsese, David Fincher and Alexander Payne.


All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
2_lemery_d2

Respect — want, earn, give, but don’t lose it

Lt. Col. David Lemery We all want it, some earn it, some are given it and some lose it. Respect can be defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements. As ...
 
 

Solve problems at lowest level

Crucial in our Air Force environment today is having the proper tools and skillsets available to deal with problems. There is literally something new almost every single day that will invoke problem solving skills. When faced with a problem, an important mindset to have is to resolve the issue at the lowest possible level. Some...
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

No man is an island Have you heard these words before? Maybe spoken them about yourself or another individual? Possibly you have read the John Donne prose found in Meditation 17, “Devotions upon Emergent Occasions,” or you’ve heard the song “No Man is an Island” by the band Tenth Avenue North. Perhaps you have tried...
 

 
entire_workbook

Fly Over: ‘Paddington’ and ‘Financial Peace University’

On DVD: ‘Paddington’ I have a confession to make — I do not have any children. There, I’ve said it. And yet, I have seen my fair share of family movies, from Disney and Pixar to classics like, “The Princess Bride.” ...
 
 
smith_d2

To do or to be? – A very good question

Col. Daniel Smith I am a huge fan of the Air Force core values. For a long time, I have felt that whatever board or individual developed the values got them absolutely right. In fact, every Airman, young or … seasoned, who co...
 
 
Top-3-Council

Airman — The Air Force asset

The most important asset to the Air Force is the Airman. Regardless of rank, Air Force specialty code, position, gender, age and experience, each of us still needs guidance, validation, and most of all, honesty. So how do you t...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>