The ReplacementsAugust 11, 2000
During a pro football strike, the owners hire substitute players.
Release Year: 2000
Rating: 6.3/10 (27,000 voted)
Critic's Score: 30/100
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman, Brooke Langton
A comedy based on the 1987 professional football players' strike. Gene Hackman plays the coach of the team, Jack Warden is the owner, Brett Cullen is the All-Pro quarterback that goes on strike and Keanu Reeves is the "scab" who replaces the star QB.
(as Michael 'Bear' Taliferro)
Nigel 'The Leg' Gruff
Pain heals, Chicks dig scars… Glory lasts forever
Release Date: 11 August 2000
Filming Locations: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $11,039,214
(13 August 2000)
Did You Know?
The film is set in Washington D.C. but was actually filmed in and around Baltimore including the Baltimore Ravens' stadium.
On the last play of the Dallas (final) game, when Brian catches the winning touchdown, he catches the ball inside the end-zone, falls to the ground, and slides out the back of end-zone When he makes the catch and lands, the end-zone is green with no paint on it, and he slides into the solid white painted area behind the end-zone (you see the pylon meaning he has gone out-of-bounds after securing the catch). The next shot (from further away) he is in the middle of the end-zone, in-bounds, and the end-zone is painted with letters (he is to the left of the 'S' in 'Washington'.
These are people I've been keeping my eye on over the years. They all played football somewhere, not all of them in the pros, but they all have something unique to bring to the game. We're going to try to get these people together and try to put together a winning team. If nothing else, they should be fun to watch.
[shows first picture]
Daniel Bateman, SWAT team officer. Awarded the Purple Heart for losing a kidney during the Gulf War
[cuts to Bateman raiding a drug lab]
He was a walk-on at Michigan State before he gave up football to sneak back into the service for one more tour of duty.
[goes to next picture]
Clifford Franklin. Great attitude, great desire, and *the* fastest son of a bitch I've ever seen.
[cuts to a grocery store and a teen stealing a Twinkie and running away]
Korean Store Owner:
Hey! Clifford, Twinkie!
[Clifford dashes past. He easily catches up to the kid, jogging alongside while the kid's dashing at full sprint]
Unoriginal but hilarious
Despite the fact that this film is a totally unoriginal and predictable
retread of a dozen `losers to winners' sports stories, it is so hysterically
funny that I didn't even care. The story is thin at best. The NFL is
having a players strike and scabs are called in to finish the season. Our
heroes are low on ability but high on desire and peculiarity. The
quarterback, Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves), once had a promising career, but he
fell apart psychologically when his team was pummelled in a college bowl
game and he was labelled a player that folds in the big game. Of course,
while visiting the NFL, Shane falls in love with the head cheerleader
(Brooke Langton) who never dates players (except of course this once).
All this is merely a mundane excuse for a raucous and silly comedy that has
some sidesplitting moments. To enjoy this film you really need two things.
You need to love football and you need to enjoy slapstick, banana peel
comedy. I realize that this limits the audience considerably, but for those
who qualify (and I am one), this movie is a scream.
Director Howard Deutch (Pretty in Pink, Grumpier Old Men) did a great job on
the football sequences. He hired 45 professional football players (Former
NFL players, Canadian Football League, etc.) to do the football scenes and
sent the actors to a three-week football camp. The action looked real
because it was real. The players were told to play and hit the way they
normally would. Of course, the plays were choreographed, but they were real
The comedy was lowbrow, outrageous and crass, with a great deal of physical
comedy. The cheerleader scenes were a riot, especially the cheerleader
tryouts. The scene where they started pantomiming sex acts to distract the
opposing team was priceless. There was also sharp-witted football humor
that required more than just a passing knowledge of the game.
There isn't much serious that can be said about the acting. Keanu Reeves
tried to play an earnest comeback and romantic role amidst all the
foolishness and it really didn't fit with the rest of the film. However, he
was an excellent athlete. He did most of his own on-field shots and looked
very believable as the quarterback. Gene Hackman was good when he was
making snappy wisecracks, but his inspirational `Hoosiers' imitation was
This film really belonged to the supporting actors like Orlando Jones
(Clifford Franklin), Michael Taliferro and Faizon Love (The Jackson Twins),
Ace Yonamine (Jumbo Fumiko), Rhys Ifans (Nigel `The Leg' Gruff) and all the
cheerleaders who made the comedy work. Jon Favreau gets a special mention
as the crazy S.W.A.T. officer turned linebacker who took the wild man role
to the next level.
This film won't be fun for everyone, but it will have certain people falling
off their chairs. I rated it an 8/10. Subtract two points if you aren't
amused by slapstick and boorish behavior, and another two if you aren't a
football fan. For the rest of you, be prepared to split a gut.