Welcome to The Revue, a weekly recap of Mizzou Football by way of the silver screen.
On the surface, everything looks promising. Big-time star and all-star glue guy leading the charge on both ends, the promise of a new spin on an already popular genre. I guess this is why we can’t have nice things.
Despite its inherent promise, Missouri’s trip to the Wild Wild West is a fiasco. It’s almost offensive how much of a letdown it was. You’d be forgiven for wiping it from your memory and never thinking of it again.
What makes this effort so disappointing is that it has all the makings of a smashing success. Kelly Bryant is a bonafide star with several hits under his belt. He took a chance moving into a new region of the country and, on paper, it should work out. After all, a star is a star no matter where you put him. Pair him with Cale Garrett on the other side of the ball, a player as reliable as they come, and there’s no doubt in your mind - this has to work out.
For some inexplicable reason, though, nothing works. The direction (Barry Odom, overseeing his fourth feature presentation after some steady progression in his first three) is scattershot and, at times, nonexistent. There’s no coherent plan implemented, almost as if he expected the mere presence of potential to get the job done. Outside of some gorgeous work early on, Director of Offense Derek Dooley puts forth a shockingly bland effort, substituting his breakneck style for yeomanlike, punishing shots. And Assistant Director Ryan Walters - well, what else has he shown us in his brief career to make us expect any different?
The story, ripe with narrative potential, is also incoherent at best, unbelievable at worst. Looking to save Missouri fans from the clutches of the nefarious NCAA’s unprecedented bowl ban, the Tigers must face their first test deep in the heart of the American West, traveling into the Rocky Mountains to stave off a group of pesky, but manageable cowboys. Instead, Odom concedes far too much power to the villains, making one-dimensional antagonist Sean Chambers look like Thanos (editor’s note: not even The Revue can escape the Disney/MCU juggernaut). After following the script for the first quarter, it becomes an incomprehensible mess, bordering on unwatchable. To try and recap the events would make this reviewer nauseous… just thinking about them already has.
Maybe the worst part - which is saying something - is that there’s just enough hope to keep you watching. As the story reaches its climax, Kelly and Cale seem to be redeeming the team as a whole. The good guys start dispatching cowboys as they should and it feels like things are heading in the right direction for our heroes.
This is false hope, though - at this point, everything is beyond hope and there is no way to save this disastrous excuse for a football game.
And so, as Barry Odom and his cast ride out of the wild wild West, we’re expected to believe that things will turn around - that the promise we saw before the lights dimmed and the curtain drew will still play out on some screen at some later date. Unfortunately, all emotional capital has already been surrendered, and it’s hard to see many people coming back for more after this.