He Shoots, He Scores: Our Review of ‘Odd Man Rush’

He Shoots, He Scores: Our Review of ‘Odd Man Rush’

Odd Man Rush surprised me. I wasn’t keen on settling in for yet another riff on the sports movie. What the film delivers, despite some heavy handed messaging, far outweighed any misgivings I had going on. Odd Man Rush reminds us to find the balance between chasing your dreams. And realizing and recognizing what you have right in front of you.

Jack Mulhern, who exudes an Evan Peters vibe, plays Bobby. He’s a young man who has dreamed and played hockey all his life, pursuing a lifelong goal of playing in the Big Show that is the NHL. A back injury routes him on a different journey, and he ends up playing in the leagues of Sweden trying to prove himself and find a way to center ice.

In a remote town in Sweden he discovers the beauty of the country he’s in, and meets and falls for Elin. Adorably, and endearingly played by Elektra Kilbey, she has big dreams of her own. The film is filled with hockey types and tropes, as well as the offspring of some iconic players. But it delivers a power play on the heart, that shoots and scores.

Watching Odd Man Rush, it almost feels like a 90s throwback. Bobby breaks to fourth wall constantly to address the audience. While some would think Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Mulhern’s performance put me more in mind of the 90s Christian Slater vehicle, Kuffs. And the romance and fish out of water elements, the film made me recall Micheal J. Fox’s Doc Hollywood.

As far as I’m concerned all of these things are for the good of the film. My only real problem with the film that is way too short, and consequently felt a little thin. It makes the messaging seem more blatant than it is. Mulhern and Kilbey make for a wonderful on screen couple, and exude a real chemistry that you want to see work. It makes the dilemmas both of them face concerning their professional lives that more poignant.

There isn’t quite as much hockey on screen as one would expect. But the off the ice antics of the team in the locker room and the bars resonate with a humorous realism. And watching Bobby evaluate his dreams, his life, and the advice he gives himself ends up being a real joy.

With honesty, a hint of naivete and a love of the sport, Odd Man Rush wears its heart on its jersey, and is easy to cheer for.

This post was written by
TD Rideout has been a movie fan since the moment he first encountered Bruce the Shark in 1975. As passionate about cinema as he is popcorn movies, his film education is a continuing journey of classics new and old. He is at his most comfortable with a book, a drink, his partner and his dog.
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