80 for Brady (2023): If I Wanted To Watch the Comeback of the Century, I Would Just Watch Super Bowl 51
“80 for Brady” is directed by Kyle Marvin (The Climb, All Wrong) and stars Lily Tomlin (Nashville, 9 to 5), Jane Fonda (Barbarella, Monster-in-Law), Rita Moreno (West Side Story, Oz), and Sally Field (The Amazing Spider-Man, Forrest Gump), with Tom Brady. This film is about four New England Patriots-obsessed women who will do anything to go to the Super Bowl and see their hero, Tom Brady.
This movie does not officially have its wide release until February 3rd. That said, a few theaters near me had early screenings of the film, so I decided to partake in one of them. I was not excited for “80 for Brady.” That said, this could have been a surprise. If “M3GAN” has shown anything, it is that not all movies that come out in the middle of winter are dead on arrival. I like the people in the movie such as Rita Moreno and Sally Field. These are all respectable actresses, but I felt like this movie was beneath their caliber. For instance, Moreno was literally in the 2021 remake of “West Side Story,” which was deservedly nominated for several Academy Awards. “80 for Brady” feels like a step down. Great performers, but as I looked ahead at what this movie could be, my nerves set in.
What did I think of “80 for Brady?” It is, in a word, fine. I am not planning on watching it again though.
Before I dive further into my thoughts on the movie, I want to paint a picture. I live in New England, specifically in Massachusetts. I am not into football, but I know people who are. In fact, one of the people I know who is extremely fanatical over football is my grandmother. She loves the Patriots, she loves Tom Brady, she will watch him now even though his playing for Tampa Bay. You know, until he pretends to retire again.
While I was not in love with the trailers for “80 for Brady,” one compliment I can give to this movie is that every time I looked at the four main women, I felt they were representative of my grandmother. In fact as I watched the movie, several moments reinforced this thought. Lily Tomlin’s character’s house is filled with Tom Brady and Patriots merchandise. When I go to my grandparents’ house, there are a couple rooms that have plenty of Pats novelties and such to go around. For several years, Tom Brady was practically my grandmother’s spirit animal. She has a Tom Brady Funko, a Tom Brady bobblehead, she’s got the whole nine yards. All of the main women have some glimmer of my grandmother’s personality wrapped into one quartet. And while I cannot recommend this movie to everyone, I think I would recommend it to my grandmother specifically.
And when it comes to the performances given by Tomlin, Fonda, Moreno, and Field, they do not reinvent the wheel. But they seem to understand the assignment. They have fun with the material given to them, and they bring a lot of energy to their characters. It is almost a bit cartoony, but I also cannot deny that this is the level of energy that a movie like this needed. The actors let themselves loose and that makes their characters rather charming.
“80 for Brady” is first and foremost, a comedy. As a comedy, it has its ups and downs. Most of the jokes are unmemorable, but there are quite a few that had me laughing. Though this movie also had me asking some questions in regard to how it handles logic. This film is based on people, not to mention events, that actually exist. If you watch this movie, you would notice that there are some unrealistic happenings. Some liberties are definitely taken. I will not give any spoilers, but there are multiple scenes where I gathered that what was happening was practically impossible. In fact, if you look up the true story that inspired this movie, you would find out that this is based on the friendship of five women, not four like this narrative presents. Frankly, I am glad it was not five. The movie is only an hour and thirty-eight minutes, but it packs a ton of material in such a short runtime that it felt overstuffed. “80 for Brady” has a semi-interesting journey of four main characters, but it also has a slew of supporting characters that barely added anything anything to the plot other than noise. Their additions to the story mainly came off as wasted time that kept the movie from being more tightly knit. Sure, there are subplots and other characters that help give the main quartet some background. But what does not help is that the background itself, with the exception of one thing that comes up, almost feels like filler.
My biggest problem with “80 for Brady” is that even in more tense moments, it feels like there are very little stakes. It does not help having a main event of the film be a recent Super Bowl that millions of people have already seen. But what I really mean is that even in its more tense moments, the movie does very little to make me think these women are not going to find some convenient way to move on from an obstacle in their path. There is one particular sequence that is so off the rails that I put my hand over my face before it even happened. Rest assured, when it happened, I cringed. Without giving much away, the sequence in particular involved dancing. Although in the case for “80 for Brady,” the crew behind it should sleep easy tonight knowing that the dance sequence in this film at least had more of a purpose than another sports-related movie to come out in recent years, specifically “Uncle Drew.”
When it comes to my overall enjoyment of “80 for Brady,” it is practically all over the map. I cannot say I hated myself after the movie, but even the moments when I thought the movie was hitting some positive marks, they could fired on a few more cylinders to have the entirety of my attention. The four women are great. There are a few celebrity cameos I enjoyed. But this movie is not enough to get me to run down the streets begging everyone I see to check it out. Some people in my circles probably will check it out regardless of what I think because a lot of my friends and family are from New England, but who knows? Maybe this review will be seen as a warning sign of what is to come.
In the end, “80 for Brady” is neither fumble or a touchdown. It is somewhere in between. I could tell that this movie was trying to get me to smile, but in reality, I might have left with what some might call resting Bill Belichick face. Not a smile, not a frown, just indifference. Is the movie better than I thought it would be? Sure, but that does not say much because my expectations were low to begin with. If you are a die hard Pats fan, you might appreciate some of the moments in this movie, but I think going back to watch some of the Super Bowls which they have played over the years might end up being more exciting than seeing this movie. You could make an argument that this is better than Super Bowl 53, which was an utter bore, but nevertheless. I am going to give “80 for Brady” a 5/10.
“80 for Brady” is currently doing early screenings and will be in theaters everywhere February 3rd. Tickets are now on sale.
Thanks for reading this review! If you liked this review, check out some of my other ones! If you want to see more of my comedy reviews, check out my thoughts on “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.” If you want more of my thoughts on movies about football, I made a review back in 2020 where I share my thoughts on the 1983 film “All the Right Moves.” Want another vacation adventure movie? Why not check out my review for “Ticket to Paradise?” Something for everyone! Want to hear about a bunch of movies at once? Check out my picks for the top 10 BEST movies of 2022 and the top 10 WORST movies of 2022! If you want to see more from Scene Before, follow the blog either with an email or WordPress account! Also, check out the official Facebook page! I want to know, did you see “80 for Brady?” What did you think about it? Or, do you watch American football? If so, what team do you root for? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!