The Final Season is a look at a small town's love of their local high school baseball team. It stars Sean Astin and Tom Arnold.
The action takes place in Norway, Iowa. It's a small midwestern town that makes Des Moines look like big city. With a town of 500 folks, many farmers, and a school of 100, what this town lacks in sheer numbers, it makes up for in heart. Despite the small talent pool, their high school's baseball team has won 19 championships in a row, no small feat by any measure. Unfortunately, due to downsizing and budget constraints, some genius comes up with the bright idea to close the local public school, and combine districts. While this makes sense financially, the town loses their baseball team in the process.
The school board decides that that Norway can have one final season, but they want the winning team to go out as losers to ease the transition. To do this, they nix the longtime coach, and put in his understudy that was with him for two months, and coached girl's volleyball before that. Enter Coach Kent Stock, played by Sean Astin. Needless to say, he has shoes so large that his hobbit sized feet will never fill. After gaining the respect of his players, he goes on to lead the team in one final season.
The Final Season reminds me of the opposite of another baseball film, The Bad News Bears. Here we have another team, but they're all high school all stars, fighting for the chance to play. It's based on a true story, which always helps in the realism department. My only real criticisms of the film are that it's a little too slowly paced, and some of the characters are too stereotypical. Other than that, if you want a movie about baseball, it's a decent film, and too bad it didn't get more attention.
Overall Grade: B
Reviewed by Jonas