Sometimes when you review a movie, you have to take your own beliefs out of it – this is just such a case. Go Tigers! is the story of high school football in Massillon, Ohio. It chronicles the 1999 season, but the subtext is the city and its passion for high school football.
Being a huge fan of ‘Texas’ high school football (the gold standard) and football in general, I figured I would like the film. Where it fell short for me was not in the claims I dispute, but in the craft of film making. Too many of the scenes were staged to tell the story – this is the first rule of documentary films – don’t ‘make’ the story, ‘find’ the story.
It actually took me two viewings to finish watching Go Tigers! because I fell asleep the first time. This is not wholly the film’s fault as I was tired when sitting down to watch. In the end, it was an interesting film – nothing particularly moving about the content, but something to watch if you are a big fan of high school football.
Now as to my disagreements with the claims – the best football town in America? Come on. There was nothing in that city that I haven’t seen in HUNDREDS of small towns in Texas. Towns getting behind their high school team is a phenomenon across all states. And yes, I have seen cities that make a BIGGER deal of their team than Massillon.
I think it mentioned that the Tigers were 22 time state champions and that they had won it like 11 out of 13 or something like that (don’t quote me on the numbers.) All that says is that there isn’t much good competition. The best in Texas just won their 8th state championship – partly because football is SOOO much better in Texas and partly because of the sheer volume of teams you have to get through to win it in the Lone Star State.
Just ask 23 time Louisiana state champions, John Curtis Christian.
RATING 6 out of 10