The last time I watched a film with Lethal in the title must have been Lethal Weapon 2, 3, 4, or 5. (Is there a Lethal Weapon 5?) I figured Lethal Soccer Mom was a click-bait film that would be a grind to watch.
It was on the Lifetime Channel, so the 85-minute film stretched to 2 hours with commercials. Those ads took my mind off the pain I was enduring in my mission to review yet another soccer movie, so that you, my Reader, don’t have to.
In the story, Cameron (Sarah Grey) is a talented player who changes schools at the start of her last high school season. Her high-powered mother has separated from dad and moved Cam to a rival school that should bolster Cam’s chances of a soccer scholarship. Led by Coach Rhonda (Christina Cox), the Raley Wildcats have won State 4 years in a row.
But newcomer Cam must compete against the coach’s lesser-skilled daughter. And no one seems to realize that Coach is an equally hard-driving soccer mom who will stop at nothing to ensure that her own daughter has a better future than becoming a high school coach and psychology teacher.
An empowering Lifetime TV movie?
If that storyline of psychology teacher turned serial perpetrator of mayhem doesn’t make your head spin, you’re probably watching too many Lifetime TV movies. Lifetime’s webpage says that it has remained the “most trusted” and “most empowering” network among women for 9 consecutive years. They broadcast the 2017-2018 seasons of the NWSL and the early years of the WNBA.
But Lifetime also seems to make a lot of TV movies whose titles have words like Lethal, Deadly, Killer, etc. Apparently empowerment at Lifetime TV means defending yourself and triggering a fight back mentality, usually against other empowered women. Is the secret message that empowerment is normally evil? But, I digress.
Another reason to hate Canada
The Canadian film industry produces a lot of TV movies in Ottawa, making it the TV-movie-of-the-week capital of Canada. When I realized this film’s cast and creator were all Canadian, I understood why the plot defies logic. It seems that Canadians are so nice, or so disciplined, that no one ever stepped up and said to Director Max McGuire, “Dude, this doesn’t make sense.” This seems to be a real problem with low-budget films in Canada; for another example of ludicrousness, see Monkey in the Middle.
SPOILER ALERT: To show why it is hard for me to accept the plot, here are just half of the crimes that Coach Rhonda gets away with:
- Whacking a star player with a tire iron, in the locker room
- Making out with her daughter’s boyfriend in the classroom
- Having him push Cam down the stairs at school, giving her a concussion
- Running him over with her car
- Whacking Cam with a baseball bat during half-time of the championship game. Like, what happened to the tire iron?
Wrapping it up
Possibly the most unbelievable part is that the actor playing the high school boyfriend is 33 years old (Jon McLaren). 🙂 But seriously, the cast of really handsome actors play their caricature roles very well and are the only positive of the film. E.g., Sarah Grey is reminiscent of Katherine Heigl.
Christina Cox (well known for several iconic lesbian roles) has a new specialty in deadly moms (see also Lethal Dance Mom), and she exudes the essence of evil. Cox also has a claim to fame of being Hilary Swank’s boxing stunt double, which she shows off when decking one of her players.
There are a surprisingly large number of soccer scenes, but they are heavily spliced, and any play more than 2 seconds long is at a U11 level. Also, it is too bad that in 2018, a film continues to promulgate the idea that there is such a thing as a mild concussion. There is not. Every concussion is a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) that requires 4 to 12 weeks to recover, even longer in children and teenagers. Please remember: there are no mild, pink, or light concussions, and there are no bell ringers. They are all TBIs.
With all of the above, plus several scenes where the soccer moms put on a kind of sexual vibe with the daughters, I don’t recommend this film for kids. And probably it is not worth watching in your Lifetime. Unless, of course, you are a fan of Christina Cox.
The original title was Sidelined.
5 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 5