Champions Movie Review

The track history of American filmmakers adapting foreign films for US audiences is dismal. The original version of Champions was a 2018 Spanish production called Campeones. It was the highest-grossing Spanish language film in Spain of that year and its popularity implied that a remake was inevitable.

When one of the Farrelly Brothers became attached to the project (this time brother Bobby) it didn’t bode well to match the charm of the original film. But the results are somewhat surprising. Champions is a more warm-hearted character study and less the expected ribald comedy.



Woody Harrelson is Marcus, a basketball coach who runs afoul of the law and is given a community service sentence to coach a group of individuals with intellectual disabilities. His narcissistic ways initially clash with the free-spirited players but they soon win him over and life lessons are learned.

It’s this humanising of these players that give the work its biggest appeal. The more you learn about them, the more they overcome all the stigmas and you end up relating to them as just people. Harrelson and love interest Alex played by Kaitlin Olson from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia put in workman-like performances but pale in comparison to the rest of the cast. They are the beating heart of the film.
Rob Hudson