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The Sunflower

REVIEW: ‘The Underdoggs’ hides a wholesome chosen family story under questionable dialogue

Photo+courtesy+of+Amazon+MGM+Studios
Photo courtesy of Amazon MGM Studios

Snoop Dogg is known for doing everything under the sun — he’s a rapper, actor and chef who has worked alongside Martha Stewart. 

His most recent venture, “The Underdoggs,” came out directly to Prime in January. The film takes place in Long Beach, California, where Snoop Dogg grew up. His character even graduated from the same high school that Snoop did. 

The film’s credits revealed that Snoop Dogg started a football league in 2005 for underserved children called the Snoop Youth Football League. The league is what inspired the film, and it has gone on to produce a few notable NFL stars, including the Rookie of the Year candidate C.J. Stroud. Snoop’s philanthropy and passion for helping children is a surprising twist from his rap career but a notable component of “The Underdoggs.”

Snoop plays the main character, Jaycen “Two Js” Jennings, a washed-up football player who is forced to do community service after a bad car accident. 

His community service takes him back to his hometown, where he begins coaching a peewee football team. At the start, Jaycen is an egotistical narcissist, using the kids in hopes of bringing his career back. 

As the movie progresses, we see bits and pieces of character development as he slowly connects with the kids on a more personal level, even finding out that one of the kids lives in the same trailer park he grew up in. The film is a big advocate for children’s welfare. 

“The Underdoggs” is a great movie for those who love seeing the underdogs thrive; however there were some questionable moments, like showing the children breaking into the booze cooler and starting to drink. 

The movie did start with a disclaimer that there would be heavy language — it’s Snoop Dogg, and that it isn’t recommended for kids. The kids who shouldn’t be watching cuss more than anyone else. 

This disclaimer resonates similarly with Snoop Dogg’s persona, especially in his musical career and his pioneer role in the gangster rap scene of the 90s. 

I think the movie went a little heavy-handed on the cursing, especially with child actors. Still, Snoop played the egomaniac turned inspirational coach role very well.

I also found the heavy emphasis on the importance of found or chosen family very inspiring, as viewers saw individual relationships between players themselves and players and Jaycen. As a sucker for the found family trope, it really hit me. 

Snoop has his hands in many pots, but “The Underdoggs” might become an easy favorite, especially for fans of inspirational happy endings.

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About the Contributor
Maleah Evans, Reporter
Maleah Evans is a second-year reporter for The Sunflower. They previously worked as a copy editor. Evans is a sophomore, majoring in history with a minor in anthropology. They plan to pursue a career as a museum curator.

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