Late in 2006, Walt Disney Studios announced that they would be cutting back on their movie releases and that they would be concentrating on presenting better projects. Financially, the strategy has worked and Disney has released films that have been consistently number one at the box office. "The Game Plan" is a Disney release that has become the number one box office draw within the traditionally slow months of late September/early October.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson portrays Joe Kingman, the quarterback for a fictional Boston franchise that is unable to win a BIG game. After clinching a spot in the playoffs, Kingman invites his teammates to his apartment to celebrate. The apartment is a monument to both his colossal ego and Elvis Presley. On the next day, a little girl knocks on Kingman's door and claims to be his daughter, Peyton (Madison Pettis).
After consulting with his heartless agent (Kyra Sedgwick), Kingman attempts to prepare for the playoffs while coping with his energetic daughter who seems to be from the planet Bizzaro. The girl has refined tastes in ballet and designing her own jewelry. Kingman and his daughter know nothing about each other's world.
The contrasting characters are defined and the Disney formula kicks in. The two people grow to understand each other. Not before there is heartache and injury with the darkest moments occurring before the big
game. It is pure Disney corn, but the cast & crew execute "The Game Plan" with entertaining results.
Using both his wrestling moniker and Christian name, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the ring leader. It takes a WWE wrestling to pull of the comedic scenes early in the motion picture, it takes a god physical actor to pull off the quiet scenes of personal darkness. As Kingman's daughter, Madison Pettis is assembly line Disney kid actress who is a good foil for the adults around her. Kyra Sedgwick unleashes some of the coldest one liners in the movie, but her character is so goofy that she is not unlikeable.
One of the highlights of the movie features ballet class. The ballet teacher is a stickler for discipline and parental involvement. Joe Kingman is her ultimate challenge and her ultimate reward. Kingman is recruited to portray a tree in her daughter's ballet recital. Of course, Kingman's appearance guarantees a sellout crowd and an opportunity for a musical montage featuring Disney slapstick with Elvis Presley music. The comedic coda occurs when Kingman's teammates get front row seats for the performance.
It is the “just-for-the-fun-of-it” spirit that makes **The Game Plan** a likable movie for families. The comedy is broad, but not offensive. There are some life lessons about commitment, understanding and communication. A lightweight movie to be sure, but there is a sincerity to **The Game Plan** that had been lacking in previous Disney comedies as of late. "The Game Plan" is not bad. In fact, "The Game Plan" fields a better team than the Miami Dolphins.