A worker at a juvenile detention center tries to start a football team to help kids from rival gangs learn how to overcome their differences. Sean Porter works at a juvenile detention center in Los Angeles, where gang warfare makes it impossible to get the teenagers to get along with one another. When one of his reformed teens gets murdered when he's released from the center, Porter is discouraged; between that and his mother dying, life doesn't seem to be giving him any easy answers. However, he finds inspiration in his former passion: football. He asks his supervisors to allow him to put together a football team, and while they are skeptical, they allow him and his co-worker Malcolm to make it happen. He selects some kids and requires them to be a part of this venture, and at first, it's a disaster-- some of the teammates are from rival gangs. In particular, Willie and Kelvin, two young talented players on the team, seem bent on killing each other when they get the chance. Eventually, they begin to all play together as a unit. When they finally are accepted into a league (they go by the team name "The Mustangs"), the first game couldn't go worse. They play the best team, get blown out, and Porter screams at the kids for their efforts, when these are the type of kids that shut down under adversity. With his mother's encouragement, he apologizes, gets them back on his side, and they start winning. After one game, Willie and Kelvin even shake hands. They get into the playoffs, and they're scheduled to play the team that beat them badly in the first game. When one of Willie's former gang affiliates shows up and shoots Kelvin, Willie attacks the gang member instead of Kelvin, stunning everyone. Although Kelvin has to sit out, and they are still intimidated from the first beating, they rally in the second half and beat their opponent. They eventually lose the championship, but the point has been made: Porter's program is a success, and will be part of the detention center in the years to come.
Best part of story, including ending:
Like many sports movies, it's fairly predictable, right down to the halftime locker room rally leading to a surge in the second half. Still, it's enjoyable for the genre, and The Rock is a terrific lead.
Best scene in story:
When one teen, Junior, admits that he's sick of being a loser in life, it's a heart-wrenching emotional moment.
Opinion about the main character:
Sean is as noble as a main character can get-- he's dedicated his life to saving the life of the children in his community. Add to that The Rock's charisma, and you have a great lead.