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By Chris Salce | December 7, 2022

MVP is loosely based on true events. Nate Boyer’s film is about an actual program that merges veterans and former pro athletes together to give them a place to support each other while continuing to transition from their former lives to everyday civilian life. Although some names have been changed, the story still deals with the very real issue of veterans dying from suicide at an alarming rate.

At the plot’s core are two characters, former NFL athlete Will Phillips (Mo McRae) and veteran Zephyr (Nate Boyer). After being saved from a scandal, Phillips attempts to befriend Zephyr, who saved him. The two realize they have quite a bit in common, but their differences make for a complicated relationship.

Boyer has seen his share of both the athlete’s point-of-view as well as the veteran’s perspective. After serving several years in the Army, he became a walk-on football athlete for the University of Texas. He would eventually sign a contract to play in the NFL. So, when it comes to hearing from a direct source for material for a story such as MVP, the filmmaker is a perfect candidate. With Boyer directing and co-writing with Geraint Jones, the film becomes more than just another copy-and-paste adversity story from some Hollywood writers who have no clue of what it is really like to deal with these issues.

“…[a] program that merges veterans and former pro athletes together to give them a place to support each other…”

The film spends equal time dealing with the athlete as it does dealing with the veteran. Neither side outshines the other, as both personal stories of Phillips and Zephyr are easily investable. Admittedly, I found myself liking one character more than the other as Zephyr seemed like a jerk at times, though this is done purposefully. Even with Zephyr being not-so-likable, I still understand why he is the way he is. And that’s really what the story comes down to. It shows that even if you have never lived a day in someone else’s shoes, it is important to at least hear them out. That way, maybe you can understand their point of view.

With all of the positives this film has, I did come across a couple of negatives, though not major ones. Some people portray themselves, meaning a few actors tend to outshine others and can often steal scenes. But the acting is not terrible by any means. Even NFL Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez showed off some skills I didn’t know he had.

However, the biggest issue I have with MVP is the runtime. The film is nearly two hours long. Several scenes feel as though they could have been either trimmed down or just completely removed altogether. Once again, this is not a major issue, but I can’t pretend this is perfect.

I feel like films like MVP are made for numerous reasons. One: It brings awareness to serious issues. Two: It puts a specific and important program at the forefront. Three: It lets veterans know that there is more of them out there going through the same thing. All of these are important reasons for a story like this to be told to a wide audience. It also helps when the story and writing are actually good and do the issue justice.

MVP (2022)

Directed: Nate Boyer

Written: Geraint Jones, Nate Boyer

Starring: Mo McRae, Nate Boyer, Dina Shihabi, Tony Gonzalez, Jay Glazer, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

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"…important reasons for a story like this to be told..."

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  1. Bradley Austin says:

    My mame my is Brad Austin .
    I watched your movie and I want your help with my Daughter. Shanna Served in the ASAF 9 year’s and alot of things happened to her some physical some Emotional !! It’s not my place to say its hers to share.
    if u could reach out to me it would mean alot . I have a kind of cancer I wont beat and I want her to.find peace before I’m gone .
    Please help.
    Mr Austin

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