A frustratingly not-terrible action thriller.
"The Mighty Ducks" is the kind of movie that might have been written by a computer program. It tells a story that has been told time and time and time again, about the misfit coach who is handed a team of kids who are losers, and turns them into winners while redeeming himself. Even the usual supporting characters are here: The opposing coach who persecuted the hero when he was a kid; the kid who has a divorced mother that the hero falls in love with; the tough rebel kid who only needs to channel his anger.
The movie is set in Minneapolis, and deals with Pee Wee ice hockey leagues. I have earlier seen this same plot applied to baseball ("The Bad News Bears"), football ("Wildcats"), basketball ("Hoosiers"), and even hockey ("Youngblood"). The evidence is clear: Hollywood likes this plot. If you are a would-be screenwriter desperate for a sale, rent the videos of all of these movies, and then simply apply the formula to a sport that hasn't been covered yet. The lacrosse team, maybe. Pay special attention to "Hoosiers," since it's the good one.
The film stars Emilio Estevez as the coach. He's a lawyer who gets arrested on a DUI, and his boss, the crusty Mr. Ducksworth, thinks it will help him slow down if he goes on a leave of absence from the firm, and coaches a Pee Wee hockey team. Estevez arrives at the first practice session in a limousine, inexplicable in plot terms but good for some inane scenes in which the little hockey stars flatten their noses against the glass. And then the season starts.
The screenplay by Steven Brill leaves nothing to chance.