xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
“D3: The Mighty Ducks” is the first movie title I've seen that correctly predicts its grade on Entertainment Weekly's movie report card: a D. The Mighty Ducks, Minnesota's underdog kid hockey team, are back again, in a third version of more or less the same story: Evil, petty, vindictive, mean-spirited, cheating, lying snobs try to stop them, but the Ducks, after first dealing with cockiness, infighting, pride, anger and a new coach, redeem themselves in the big match.
“You've never heard of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks?” asks Charlie, the team's top scorer. “They named a pro team after us!” He uses this as a pick-up line with a cute brunet. Maybe it would have worked even better if he'd added, “And the same company that owns the team produced all three Mighty Duck movies, in a transparent exercise of cross-promotion!” As the movie opens, the state champion Ducks have all been given scholarships to snobby Eden Hall, a private academy with a hockey program so good that they have more flags hanging from the ceiling of their arena than a used-car lot on Washington's Birthday. Not everyone is happy about these newcomers, who bring blacks, Asians, Jews, fat kids and even a girl into the famous hockey program, which is apparently otherwise made up mostly of rich white snobs.
Leading the bigots is the sneering Dean Buckley (David Selby), who tries everything he can think of to sink the scholarships. And then there's the varsity coach (Jack White), who is capable of pep talks to his boys like: “They don't belong in our school. Now show them why!” The Ducks are devastated as the movie opens to discover that beloved Coach Bombay (Emilio Estevez) won't be with them anymore. Bombay, the hot-shot lawyer who began coaching them as a form of court-ordered community service, has moved on to the Junior Goodwill Games. Their new coach is a former pro player named Coach Orion (Jeffrey Nordling), who lectures on defense.
“I'm a scorer,” sniffs the star player, Charlie (Joshua Jackson). We've seen more than one movie, and can guess where *that* kind of talk will lead, although we are not prepared for the way the script delivers with a bludgeon rather than a scalpel: The Ducks go out to a 9-0 lead, but don't play defense, and so their opponents then score 9 straight goals to tie the match.