Film making 4/5
Recommendation 4/5 Stars
In 2001 the American Somoa football team lost to Australia 31 to 0, the biggest defeat in football history and it took the team 17 years to break that record. Only scoring twice in 17 years may seem like a theme for a film but it did happen to the American Somoa football team.
Bring in Dutch born but American coach Thomas Rongen and three weeks of hard work to bring the team around to break their bad luck. The team finally scores goal after goal and wins a few games to make it to position 173 in the world standings.
While they did not make it to the finals they did break a streak that had been plaguing them for years and in sports this can be bad. Not only does a team have to be in top physical condition but mentally they have to pull together both as a team and individually to do their best.
They have to pull together as well as practice together and coach Rongen does just that in the few short weeks before their first game toward the finals. The World Cup finals for 2014 starts three years before the final games so the team had to start winning games in 2011 to qualify.
While the team lost during their qualifiers for their chance to play at the FIFA World Cup in 2014 they did win some games. This would not be a big win for most teams but this one has only scored two goals during the last 17 years of games.
Next Goal Wins is a great look inside the human spirit and the courage it takes to fight their way out of the bottom even if they don’t get far. You can easily tell this is not your team comes from the bottom to take first place as they do not even make it to the World Cup but they do change their luck.
Real world examples of people struggling to rise above their past dissapointments are rare but in this documentary it does happen. Even when you know the outcome it still brings a smile to your heart to see how the team rejoices with their small win.
Next Goal Wins is a DVD so it does have decent quality but not the better Blu-ray quality even though it is shot with a high-definition Red Epic-M. Video is really good and about the best I have seen on a documentary on DVD with some very good footage from the real games as well as the behind the scenes shots.
The color is very good but a bit lower key without any enhancing or editing in post-production with special effects. The audio works well and is in 5.1 Dolby Digital but is only in English with no other languages available except the closed captioning.
There are no bonus features in the DVD release of Next Goal Wins so I am not going to be including any stars for its rating. Next Goal Wins is a great film and well worth a look to see how the lowest scoring team pulled out of their slump and win a game.