• Strictly Films

12 Mighty Orphans; Grade: C+


12 Mighty Orphans tells a story about a high school football coach Rusty Russell (Luke Wilson), whom relocates to an Orphanage as Rusty will be teaching and trying to develop a football team within the Orphanage. The Orphan boys are not familiar with the game of football and are not the strongest pact of young men around, however one thing that’ll make them stand out from the rest is mental toughness and speed. Witness a true underdog story that’ll defy all odds.


12 Mighty Orphans is what you kind of expected from a sports film, as it influences the viewer to be entertained by the sports coverage but to also be inspired. Watching these group of young orphan boys, developing as young men within this football team was sweet and even motivating. It also really shows just how powerful mental strength is. You don’t necessarily have to be the best built person around, if you have a mindset that is truly motivated and filled with aggression, you can accomplish anything as these young skinny men were able to out maneuver the toughest boys around. I also felt this film had a lovely display of family as how truly powerful and important having a family is. In a way Rusty did play as a father figure to these boys as a coach, giving them someone to not only to look up to per say since they can relate to Rusty, but also drive these boys towards a direction in which many of them felt directionless. The relationship within Rusty and the boys does bring in some feel good vibes to the table most def.

I enjoyed the sports coverage, felt those sequences were quite entertaining and even left me a bit queasy at times. I mean how the game of football was played back then, with the lack of protective gear… These guys were not only nuts, but arguably the toughest men around. I mean try and have a NBA player of today play in this time period and this sport… Them guys will be crying within minutes.


12 Mighty Orphans does however have a few flaws. I believe Wayne Knight playing the main leader of this Orphanage, was honestly pretty hysterical, very over the top performance. I mean Wayne Knight goes bat shit crazy in this film, felt like he went full on Neuman in this role, which kind of makes him feel like a cartoon character in a way. The thing is your suppose to feel very afraid of this character as unfortunately with Wayne Knight’s over the top performance, I really couldn’t take it much seriously, it was just too much. I felt how this film developed Rusty’s past wasn’t constructed properly. Like we see some partial sequences of Rusty’s past regarding his childhood and at the times he served in the war, however it didn’t amount to much as you tend to question this character completely regarding his past.


Also felt this film had some editing issues, along with some poor lighting in some sequences. I also felt the narration was extremely unnecessary, it felt like it was just talking to the audience about what everything was suppose to mean, which felt like it was dumbing down the audience. I can understand if the narration is supposedly suppose to help progress the story, but it honestly didn’t feel needed at all.


12 Mighty Orphans is by no means a masterpiece at all, but it is a film considerably worth watching if you need some kind of motivation for your up and coming week.

Overall, 12 Mighty Orphans was just fine. I recommend checking this one out. -Mitch Smietana

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