There have been a lot of important issues in the news lately. Syria, the 2016 presidential election, Kermit leaving Miss Piggy because of her thyroid condition, etc. With all of these monumental stories taking place I decided to address something that I’ve felt very passionately about over the past few days, weeks, and even years.
Last Wednesday, I got wine drunk off two bottles of some bottom-shelf Pinot Noir (from a funnel) and decided to have a little me time with a Netflix and chill night consisting of Bagel Bites and the movie D2: The Mighty Ducks. Ya know, as ya do when you’re 29 years old.
Now, D2 is without a doubt a classic for any kid raised in the 90s. Literally the ONLY reason anyone knows Iceland is Green and Greenland is full of ice is because of this movie. However, after seeing it as an adult I came to a very upsetting realization…MIGHTY DUCKS 2 IS THE MOST UNREALISTIC MOVIE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. LIKE EVER.
I know that sounds like an overreaction. I mean after all the 90s produced other nonsensical bullshit kids movies like Babe and Angels in the Outfield. But, I shit you not a talking pig and Tony Danza’s pitching mechanics are more believable than the 106 minutes of fantasyland garbage that is The Mighty Ducks 2.
Let’s start with Gordon Bombay. Within the first five minutes of D2 Bombay is asked to coach Team USA in the Junior Goodwill Games by the owner of Hendrix Hockey – Don Tibble. Let’s backtrack here for a second though and take a look at Bombay’s life choices/ resumé. First off, Tibble offers the job to him while he’s sleeping on a couch in the backroom of some fucking mom and pop Hockey store owned by Germans in suburban Minnesota. WTF?
Secondly, Tibble apparently gives zero fucks about background checks because he totally forgot about the fact that the only reason Bombay ever got into coaching the year before is because it was court mandated after a DUI. I guess it’s easy to overlook that kind of thing when you’re blinded by the glimmer and shine of a 12 & Under rec league hockey trophy?!?!?!
Fuck it, let’s assume his one season of coaching experience is enough, and that he does deserve the job. After all he did overcome a lot of obstacles the season before like having a degenerate limo driver as an assistant coach AND earning the player’s trust despite teaching them how to cheat while fucking one of the player’s moms. Solid first year Gordon.
Regardless, you would think as coach of Team USA he’d at least spend a little time evaluating talent from across the country to make sure he had a team that could compete at the highest level against the rest of the world. Nope.
Instead he took only 5 players that weren’t currently on the Ducks roster – a girl, an Asian figure skater, the only hispanic teenager from Miami that wasn’t into baseball or stealing car stereos, a “cowboy”, and a delinquent with daddy issues and a creatine addiction. So basically Bombay took an average-at-best rec league hockey team, sprinkled it with affirmative action, and THAT is what he took to the Goodwill Games.
After maybe 2 organized practices Bombay fearlessly leads his team into their first game against Trinidad & Tobago. That’s who we went with? Trinidad & Tobago? Not Jamaica? Not the Bahamas? We went with an island country that found oil TWICE and still almost went bankrupt? A third world country whose only claim to fame is creating the limbo? It would’ve been almost more believable if Team USA just played a bunch of accountants they found vacationing at a Sandals resort in the Caribbean. Ohio State plays a tougher schedule than that you guys!
Anyway, after running over the Rastafarians and beating Italy – Team USA faces Iceland.
Now, at this point in the movie it has become very evident that the fortune and fame that comes with being an American youth hockey team at NOT the Olympics has gone to their heads. The Bash Brothers are breaking curfew, Goldberg is once again resting on his laurels, and Bombay is living in a penthouse in Malibu rubbing elbows with models and designing a comfortable loafer with a pump in it. The distractions clearly hurt the Ducks, as they are destroyed by Iceland 12-1.
That’s when the movie takes a turn towards crazy town, and doesn’t even fucking try to make sense.
After the loss, the Team Mom/Bombay’s new sidepiece cancels practice, and the team gets together for some light stretching the day of their next game against Germany. However, halfway through their arm circles they are besides themselves with anger because of the trash talk of a young fat black kid that’s been trolling them since the start of the tournament. That’s right – the fat kid from All That successfully trolled Team USA. Naturally, they decide to settle this beef by playing a pickup roller hockey game against this big mouthed bully and “his boys” on an abandoned basketball court in the projects of Los Angeles.
What takes place next is the most absurdly ridiculous 3 minutes in American cinematic history.
In an effort to find themselves/recapture their love of the game/insert cheesy sports bullshit here they play a game of roller hockey against an all black team from Compton. Ya know, because if there’s one thing you know about kids from Compton in the early 90’s it’s that they love playing hockey.
Perhaps the most unbelievable part of the movie happens during this scene when an errant puck goes over the fence where they’re playing and breaks the windshield of a car. Now, if you ever broke anything as a child you know as well as I do that your ONLY reaction is to run away from the scene as fast as you can. Immediately. You go home, lock yourself in your room, and look up the word “alibi” on Encarta from Windows 95.
But not in D2. Nobody runs or shows any concern despite the fact that the owner of the car is a ripped black guy LIVING IN INNER CITY LA who literally watched the whole thing happen. In real life that guy would have flipped out that his ’74 Coup de Ville was ruined. He would’ve cussed out Fulton, broken Banks’ other wrist, or had Luis Mendoza deported. At the very least he would’ve threatened/ demanded that your parents reimburse him. Nope! Not in D2.
Without any anger the dude just grabs the puck and tosses it back to them yelling, “Alley Oop!” THEN, the puck lands in front of cherry picking Charlie Conway who fires it into the back of a trash can for a goal. Nobody is gonna call out Captain Duck for not having the sportsmanship or decency to at least call Time In?! What. The. Fuck.
The only thing less believable than that is immediately following all of this Team USA leaves on a city bus in order to be on time for their next game. That’s right. A bunch of privileged white teenagers just played a friendly pickup game of hockey in Compton and then just casually hopped a bus before their game against Germany.
Literally the only reason nobody realized how dumb and unrealistic this was is because we were too busy enjoying Tag Team’s “Whoop there it is” that played during the entire scene.
Seamless transition, Bombay doesn’t show up for the game against Germany, and Team USA is forced to have the Team Mom/Bombay sidepiece coach them in an elimination game. Bombay shows up halfway through the first period, and despite being a total asshole the entire movie he wins his team back thanks to a duck caller and shitty motivational speech. Yay! Team USA wins!
Next, Bombay sets a picture of himself on fire, Hans’ brother teaches the Mexican kid how to stop because ya know, despite not knowing how to stop while skating HE WAS STILL GOOD ENOUGH TO MAKE TEAM USA, Charlie goes fangirl over Wayne Gretzky, they add the fat kid from Good Burger to their roster as a “secret weapon”, and they spend their last practice before the Gold Medal Game reenacting a Jimmy Buffet concert by hitting a beach ball back and forth to each other.
The final scene is complete with: a uniform change, a trick play where the one black player pretends to be a white goalie and no one notices, a sold out crowd sings “We Will Quack You” to the tune of Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, and then a come-from-behind victory that ends with Julie “The Cat” Gaffney’s save (off a triple deke of course) that apparently NOBODY ELSE IN THE ARENA SAW because the sold out crowd waited in absolute silence until she flipped the puck out of her glove. Nobody in the entire arena knew if the puck went in? NO ONE?! Fuck off with your cliche heart string tugging bullshit D2. Fuck right off!
Yet, it’s so good. I mean so so so good, yet so terribly bad at the same time. Bad in the best and most endearing of ways of course. It’s awesomely bad. It’s like a classic (not so) guilty pleasure in the same way watching Road House or knowing all the words to Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is.
Listen, I understand what you just read is a lot. I mean no dude about to enter his thirties should be writing a thesis on the fallacies of a fictional movie from over 20 years ago. It’s sad, it’s cynical, and it’s a super unimportant. And, I’m not saying D2 is a bad movie.
I’m just saying that the plot summary on IMDB should’ve been something closer to – Team USA doesn’t choose former alcoholic youth hockey coach to lead team into Goodwill Games. Handpicked kids from across the country lead America to a 4th place finish and later earn scholarships at Division 2 schools playing sports that are actually respected in this country…Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack! Quack!