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Movie Review: “23 Blast” is an Inspiring Tale but a Disappointing Movie

Mark Hapka stars in “23 Blast”

Since Remember the Titans, there has yet to be  a movie based on a real football team or player that is  able to emotionally grab and thoroughly entertain an audience.  It’s a hard feat to accomplish, given that most of these true stories have an enriching plot but struggle to successfully translate their message.  Unfortunately, 23 Blast has fallen victim to this formula.

Based on the true story of Travis Freeman (Mark Hapka), a high school football star, who is suddenly stricken with irreversible total blindness.  Travis quickly assumes his life is over and begins to spend his days at home sulking.  Until one day, his former football coach (Stephen Lang) discovers a way to utilize the team’s key player.

This premise is undoubtedly uplifting.  The thought that a blind student could still play football and have the support of his team and town is incredibly moving.  But, when you choose to tell this story with a weak supporting cast, an unnecessary, forced love story, and an amateur screenplay, it will distract from your inspiring tale.

Though it’s not the best film to put on a resume, 23 Blast does feature a few stand out performances, beginning with their lead, Mark Hapka.  Known for his long running role in Days of Our Lives, Hapka proves that he can take on the big screen and has more to offer than dramatic stares.  He commits to his character and portrays a genuine personality that’s easy to like.  As for Bram Hoover, who plays Travis’ best friend and also co-wrote the script.  His first tackle at the big screen was an upsetting fumble.  The lack of development and cliché dialogue did no favors for the fairly, new actor.  Hoover’s attempt to shine as the supporting star was intercepted by Glee’s Max Adler, who starts as the film’s antagonist.  But like his character on Glee, he’s the bully who turns a new leaf.  There is a quality in both, Hapka and Adler that shows true potential for these talents.

23 Blast offers a remarkable story that is trying to stay afloat from its sinking surroundings.

23 Blast hits theaters October 24.

Rating: 2/5

“23 Blast” Official Trailer HD