xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
"Youngblood" is not a bad movie, and indeed has moments of real conviction. But it is doomed by its plot, which is yet another example of what I like to call the Climb from Despair to Victory (CLIDVIC, rhymes with Kid Pic).
By now, we know the formula by heart: The hero tries to win, but is soundly defeated by the evil superman on the other side. He goes into exile, trains until he drops, gets advice from a wise old father figure, and then, in the last scene, makes his big comeback and publicly humiliates the enemy. And gets the girl, of course.
This is the plot of the "Rocky" movies and also of countless teenage wrestling, bicycle-racing and karate movies. "Youngblood" takes it north of the border into the world of small-time Canadian professional hockey. At first, it's interesting just to look at the locations - the seedy ice rinks and shabby rooming houses. But eventually the dead weight of the CLIDVIC formula begins to weigh heavily on our minds, and we realize we are sentenced to yet another slog through the same old plot.
"Youngblood" stars Rob Lowe in the title role. (This violates the "Youngblood Hawke" Rule, which states: Any character named Young blood should be renamed.) He's a farm kid who dreams of playing professional hockey. His dad (played by the hockey great Eric Nesterenko) discourages him, but his brother offers to do his chores, and so Youngblood tries out for a minor league Canadian team.