Home of the Giants (DVD Review)7 Mar, 2010 By: Angelique Flores
Prebook 3/9/10; Street 4/6/10
Rated ‘PG-13’ for some thematic elements, violent situations, and language including drug references.
Stars Haley Joel Osment, Ryan Merriman, Danielle Panabaker.
The Giants are the champion high-school basketball team in an Indiana town where basketball is everything. Matt (Ryan Merriman) is the star of the team, and his best friend, Gar (Haley Joel Osment), is the school newspaper reporter who covers them.
The state championships are coming, and Matt has an opportunity to impress some scouts at the big game. Meanwhile, Gar has a bubbling interest in Bridgette (Danielle Panabaker), the new girl in school who doesn’t understand why the town worships these young basketball players.
Everything is great until Matt’s brother Keith comes home from prison. Matt looks up to Keith so much that he can’t see his brother’s dark side.
One night Keith convinces Matt to help him rob a drug dealer. Matt convinces Gar to join them. Things go awry, and the drug dealer goes after Matt. From here the film veers from high-school sports drama to thriller, leading to an unexpected twist at the end.
Merriman carries the film well, deftly going from cocky jock to vulnerable teenager.
More than a basketball drama or a teen flick, this film is a coming-of-age story about friendship, family and loyalty. The thriller aspect is icing on the cake.