Juvenile detention center counselor and former football player Sean Porter (Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson) is tired of watching kids leave the center only to return, graduate to prison or die on the street. His idea? Give them something to hang a hat on so those old habits die before they do. And thus, a controversial football team is born.

It's a drag to knock Gridiron Gang , which has a complicated message and clearly strives to present it in as inspiring a fashion as it can. Unfortunately, in this case, that means depending too often on cliche and the kind of neat plot resolutions that undermine whatever credibility that message might've had.

In the end, this feels like the best sports movie Disney never made instead of a true story with true resonance. As schmaltz goes, though, it could be worse.

Thank Johnson, who complements his usual Rockisms with some impressive dramatic range. But give credit also to his players, who give an iffy script some badly-needed flavor. Xzibit, L. Scott Caldwell and Jade Yorker also star.

Extras: Writer/director commentary, director profile, scene analysis and behind-the-scenes feature.

Grade: B