A millennial brace of lacrosse action propels "Crooked Arrows" through a thicket of cliches liberally planted in its path.

A millennial brace of lacrosse action propels “Crooked Arrows” through a thicket of cliches liberally planted in its path. The story of a ragtag Native American team rediscovering the tribal roots of the game to defeat preppie champions is rife with tired tropes, and lacking in three-dimensional characters or colorful plot twists. Happily for this Onondaga-financed production and vet director Steve Rash, gifted Native American lacrosse players lend hard-hitting impact to the game scenes. “Arrows” opens June 1, its strong sports content likely to trump its hokey storyline on the smallscreen.

Entrepreneurial, sportscar-driving, mixed-blooded Joe Logan (Brandon Routh, of “Superman Returns”) must coach his tribe’s abysmal high-school lacrosse team to win approval for a casino expansion deal. In the process, he bonds with his father (Gil Birmingham) and kid sister (Chelsea Ricketts), and renews ancestral pride all around. Helmer Rash heightens involvement by interspersing real and imagined lacrosse action on a sylvan, 1,000-year-old reservation course where bygone loin-clothed warriors and their jersey-clad descendants lope through the woods, wary of ambush lurking behind every tree, the ancient game proving a true contact sport with each brutal body blow.

Crooked Arrows

Production

A Freestyle Releasing release of a Peck Entertainment, Branded Pictures Entertainment production in association with the Onondaga Nation, Sports Studio. Produced by J. Todd Harris, Mitchell Peck, Adam Leff. Executive producers, Jeffrey McCormick, Brandon Routh. Co-producers, Mark Ellis, Ernest Stevens III, Neal J. Powless, Miriam Marcus, Jacques Vroom III. Co-executive producers, Marc Marcum, Murphy van der Velde, Stephen Brackett. Directed by Steve Rash. Screenplay, Todd Baird, Brad Riddell.

Crew

Camera (color), Daniel Stoloff; editors, Danny Saphire, Bart Rachmil; music, Brian Ralston; music supervisor, Jeffrey Rabhan; production designer, Carl Sprague. Reviewed on DVD, May 26, 2012. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Brandon Routh, Gil Birmingham, Chelsea Ricketts, Dennis Ambriz, Crystal Allen, Tyler Hill, Michael Hudson, Cree Cathers, Aaron Printup, Orris Edward.

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