Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 98 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 12+. The film is rated PG-13 for some underage drinking, but it’s not depicted in any kind of positive way; it’s presented as a bad choice and one that shouldn’t be made. Also some kissing and some football-related violence, like pushes, shoves, tackles, and the like.
The second football-centered and Christianity-focused film of this year, ’23 Blast’ tells the story of a high school player who unexpectedly went blind overnight but persevered thanks to his faith and his family. It’s almost overbearingly earnest, but it’s gently inspirational enough for family viewing.
By Roxana Hadadi
On the surface, “23 Blast” and August’s “When the Game Stands Tall” are fairly comparable movies: both about high school football teams, both told from a Christian point of view, both extolling the benefits of faith and family instead of typical teenage behavior, like partying, underage drinking, or superficial romantic relationships. But while “When the Game Stands Tall” was glossy and glitzy in terms of production and almost overwhelming in terms of religion, “23 Blast” is a clearly lower budget, gentler film. Its modesty is its most charming quality, even when the story hits all the inspirational notes you would expect.