Film Review – The Redeem Team (2022)

Title – The Redeem Team (2022) 

Director – Jon Weinbach (Walkoff Stories: One Crazy Night in Baseball)

Cast – LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Mike Krzyzewski

Plot – Examines the journey of the 2008 men’s USA basketball team featuring LeBron James and Kobe Bryant as they look to compete in the Beijing held Olympics and once more prove that the American national basketball team is a powerhouse after previous years of slipping results and standards. 

“Everything to lose. Everything to prove” 

Review by Eddie on 20/02/2023

Keen to try and emulate the global success of their 10 part documentary mini-series on the Chicago Bulls The Last Dance, Netflix have given one of the series producers Jon Weinbach a spot in the directional chair with one off feature doco The Redeem Team. 

An insightful if only skin-deep examination of the USA men’s national basketball teams quest to overcome a dwindling standing in the world ranks that came to a head with their bronze medal display at the 2004 Olympics and find redemption at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Redeem see’s Weinback given access to some of the most famous talking heads in the sport as the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Doug Collins and Mike Krzyzewski all recall the history behind getting one of the most talent filled national teams on record together to achieve the greatest success possible. 

A proud country and one that prides itself even more when it comes to their national sports and sporting feats, Redeem does a great job at showing what representing their country meant to the players that coach Krzyzewski assembled to work together for 4 years of hard training as some of the most gifted players to ever grace the courts of the NBA formed together to try and bring their team back to the glory days of old. 

Much like The Last Dance knowing the results and key instances of this journey doesn’t stop Weinbach’s doco from being a white knuckle one that does a great job of editing together countless hours of footage to a short and and sharp 90 minute product that never attempts to add additional weight or sub-plots to the central story that naturally finds extra meaning and interest from the presence of James and the late Kobe Bryant who at the time of this moment was dealing with some huge upheavals in his career that threatened to derail his legacy. 

After watching Bryant’s feats as part of the Olympic team here and the type of effort he put in behind the scenes to drive a new standard within the team it’s hard not to be inspired by the controversial figures works on and off the court and for any fans of the late superstar Redeem once more gives you a chance to watch one of the greatest basketball players of all-time work his magic, in this instance for no selfish reasons but reasons relating to his beloved country. 

Free of any extra emotional weight or baggage, Redeem never threatens to become an addition of the upper-echelon of sporting documentaries both from the feature or mini-series landscape but its another strong addition to the growing Netflix catalogue of quality basketball related products that are accessible for fans and casuals alike. 

Final Say – 

A short, sharp and fun examination of a group of sports superstars determined to make their country proud, The Redeem Team is a quality Netflix doco that is sure to please a wide ranging audience of sport and non-sport enthusiasts alike. 

3 1/2 early morning gym sessions out of 5  

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