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A minor league basketball coach with anger management issues finds his purpose with a scrappy team of intellectually disabled players. Champions has heart and enough humor to keep you chuckling periodically throughout. But it has a few problems that detract from the warm-your-insides intentions. Champions gets downright raunchy and vulgar. There’s no nudity but sex and lascivious dialogue aplenty. The characters spend an inordinate amount of time discussing dirty deeds in colorful ways. This focus felt out of place, overdone, and adds an obscene aspect that wasn’t needed.

Woody Harrelson plays Marcus, a gifted basketball trainer who has become notorious for his bad temperaments on the court. He erupts into physical violence at the slightest provocation. In Iowa he acts as Phil’s assistant coach during these turbulent times for him. That is when he burns all the bridges after Phil doesn’t heed his methods during the last minutes of an important match.

Drowning sorrows while being lambasted on ESPN Sportscenter results in a DUI. Even though Marcus faces serious jail time, he is given some reprieve by fate itself. For discharging him from jail, judge orders him to ninety days community service as the coach for a local rec team of special needs players known as “.”The Friends”

His first day of practice doesn’t go well; Darius (Joshua Felder), their best player refuses to speak to him before storming off leaving Showtime (Bradley Edens) only takes one shot… from half-court turned around backwards with sweet but odiferous Johnny (Kevin Iannucci), her never showering providing sole support until he runs into Alex (Kaitlin Olson) who happens to be Johnny’s older sister with whom he had previously hooked up through Tinder making out session Meatballs style.

Director Bobby Farrelly who directed classics like Dumb and Dumber together with his brother Peter brings back Harrelson after the two had struck comedic gold in the knockdown funny Kingpin. He opts for a similar tack here but with different results. There is sexual sniping along with eventual romance between Harrelson and Olsen that works. It has amorous tension that you can feel will lead to love. The Friends talk about ménages à trois, partner swapping, and other smacks of unrealistic banter. Intellectually challenged people can be intimate, jocular and engage in ribald locker room talk just like others do; granted it’s taken too far here though. The Friends become lusty caricatures for an exaggerated humorous effect. All this effectively eliminates any sweetness the film may have retained.

Champions has a predictable narrative that strays into melodrama. You know how it goes on for over two hours without any surprises whatsoever? The outcome is never in doubt at all. That is not so terrible itself either way .Certainly these characters deserve a happy ending if ever there was one such as this because there’s too much going on that might have been more concise than it actually was; crude subplots add length when meaningful exploration of the supporting characters was possible, several “Friends” were pretty interesting although they only see snippets of their lives off-court , although, positively speaking, the movie even transmits positive messages about intellectual disabilities; they can reach glorious heights and deserve every opportunity to fulfill their potential.)

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