safety

★★★

director: Reginald Hudlin (marshall)
starring: jay jeeves, thaddeus j. mixson jr., corinne fox and james badge dale

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

The story of Ray-Ray McElrathbey, a freshman football player for Clemson University, who secretly raised his younger brother on campus after his home life became too unsteady.

Americans love a good old true American football movie. And while the translation of American football movies in countries outside of the US can have a mixed result, Safety is much more than just another American football movie. Safety is a breezy, inspirational tale about the bond that can exist between brothers and the power of community. 

 

Safety is a drama inspired by the empowering true story of former Clemson University football safety Ray McElrathbey (Jay Reeves), a young man facing a series of challenging circumstances, whose dedication and persistence help him to triumph over repeated adversities. Aided by his teammates and the Clemson community, he succeeds on the field while simultaneously raising and caring for his 11-year-old brother Fahmarr (Thaddeus J. Mixson). 

 

While Safety is obviously produced to be more family friendly fare for the Disney Plus platform it doesn’t dodge the hard stuff that’s at play in Ray and Fahmarr’s life. Their Mum’s battle with addiction, the poverty that this brings and the unfair pressure this puts on both Ray and Fahmarr’s life is on full display.

 

Safety has a hell of a lot of heart but it doesn’t cut through as hard as sporting films Remember the Titans or The Way Back. Even though the challenges are presented to us they sometimes feel a way off, a little sterilised for us and not as in our face as they could have been to really lay that killer, emotional punch. 

 

That being said Safety still is an entertaining film with some great humour and punch the air moments. It also reminds us all of the importance of the bonds of family and the communities that help to mold us. 

 

Safety is a breezy, inspirational tale about the bond that can exist between brothers and the power of community.

★★★

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