'Necessary Roughness' has funny moments but punts too many times


"Necessary Roughness" has a number of very good lines scattered throughout the film, so it's often very funny. Unfortunately, the rest of the time it just plows along.

Scott Bakula ("Quantum Leap"), Robert Loggia and Hector Elizondo play the lead roles. Bakula is a 34-year-old who returns to college where he intends to play football.

The coaches need him. They've had to get rid of all their good players because of low grades and assorted scandals.

Among the new players are a fullback who seems to think he is in the Marines, a wide receiver who will not wear a helmet, another wide receiver who has trouble catching the ball, a linesman who fancies himself a karate champ, and a kicker who is a girl.

Yes, a girl, but no one expects you to take any of this seriously. This is, after all, a farce in which the assistant coach says vile things to his players then suggests they all pray.

Loggia plays the assistant coach, Elizondo is the head coach who will not allow any of his players to compromise themselves, and Harley Jane Kozak is the journalism professor who falls in love with the returning quarterback.

She mistakes him for another teacher. He is often mistaken. One young lady thinks he is looking for his son.

When all this is going on, "Necessary Roughness" is very funny, and when a coach says one of the players "throws like 'Edward Scissorhands,' " it is equally amusing.

Unfortunately, all this good stuff stops when the men hit the field. There, we have mostly horseplay, and a little of this is more than enough.

"Necessary Roughness" is showing at local theaters. Sinbad, the comedian, plays a teacher who is still eligible to play, and Dick Butkus, Ben Davidson and Earl Campbell are some of the real football veterans who play members of a prison team asked to scrimmage with the college boys.

Some people in the audience thought all this hilarious. Maybe you have to be a football fanatic.

"Necessary Roughness" A Texas college has to settle for an unlikely group of men when they organize a new football team.

CAST: Scott Bakula, Robert Loggia, Hector Elizondo, Harley Jane Kozak, Sinbad

DIRECTOR: Stan Dragoti

RATING: PG (language)

) RUNNING TIME: 107 minutes

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