The telemovie recreating Stephen Donald’s famous RWC 2011 goal kick has arrived, delivering mixed results.
For the most part, The Kick is one of the best sports movies which involve rugby. The level of authenticity is mind blowing, and despite much of the outcry on Twitter last night, TVNZ did a good job of casting actors who looked similar to the real world players like Richie McCaw, Ma’a Nonu, and even the All Black coach of the time Graham Henry.
Several former Shortland Street actors feature in the film.
Kiwi actor David De Lautour plays Stephen Donald, and absolutely unquestionably he did a fantastic job. He looks the part and sounds it, right down to speaking in that classic farmer boy North Waikato accent like “Beaver” himself.
The accuracy of the sports drama is also correct.
Everything that happens to De Lautour’s character throughout the film is exactly what happened to Stephen Donald in real life as he constantly shifted in and out of the All Blacks prior to coming on the field during the 2011 final and kicking that vital goal.
One of the big selling points with The Kick is the inclusion of the real Sky TV commentary, and clips of the real life games. De Lautour doesn’t exactly run like a rugby player during the movie, but his kicking action looked somewhat decent.
The quality and believable realism of the on field cinematography remind me of Goal III.
They are not really good at all, but with both movies the storylines, even though simple and boring, are powerful and believable.
A complaint I have with The Kick is that it felt just a little too dramatic towards the end. Because this is based off a true story, most rugby fans who tuned in would have known the entire plot and eventual outcome of the film, and for it to be over worked at the end, was a let down to an otherwise solid sports drama.
So while it was cool to have some real life real world rugby games in the mix, the editing in of actors who do a good job mind you, let the authenticity of The Kick down quite a bit.
But isn’t this a problem all sports movies are going to face when they are based off real life sporting moments?
Overall, this movie ranks as one of the best sports movies to feature rugby. It isn’t better than rugby’s most popular movie Invictus, but for a kiwi audience, it is great to see a movie made and made well. It features our awesome All Blacks winning the Rugby World Cup, all thanks to one kick by Stephen Donald.