A heartfelt sports doc about football and family
One half of the NFL’s Kelce brothers is the main focus of the new Amazon documentary, Kelce. The film follows Philadelphia Eagles veteran center Jason Kelce throughout the 2022 NFL season.
We begin by looking back at the icon Jason has become to the city of Philadelphia with his Super Bowl parade speech in 2018 after the Eagles won the Super Bowl before looking at their 2022 title run and how the season weighed on him for three reasons.
He ends up facing off against his younger brother Travis, the tight end of the Kansas City Chiefs; his wife is about to give birth around the time of the big game; and he is clearly contemplating retirement throughout the season. Jason Kelce has become a bit of a legend among sports fans in Philadelphia. There isn’t another fan base that roots for an NFL team like Eagles fans. He has become a leader in the city and in the locker room.
The documentary gives you an inside look into his life outside of being a football player. We see his home life, with his wife, two daughters, and a third on the way. And we learn more and more about what he plans to do after his football playing days are over.
During the filming of the documentary, Jason is playing in his twelfth season in the NFL. And as an offensive lineman, that puts a lot of wear and tear on the body. We see his veteran persona lead the team into battle week in and week out, but he knows his days are growing thin in the league.
Another great element of the film is Jason’s younger brother, Travis. The brothers share a great bond and even co-host a podcast together called New Heights. Jason puts on a Chiefs sweater from time to time to root for his brother when he watches him on television, but the film ends up culminating in the Super Bowl matchup between the Chiefs and Eagles.
During last season’s brother-versus-brother matchup in the Super Bowl, an element that enhanced the buzz even more for the big game, saw everyone, from Travis to Jason, conduct themselves in such a classy manner. Their mother being at center stage rooting for both her sons and never making it look like they leaned more into who was the victorious one. Football is what sells this film to its audience; it’s the element of family that keeps you in your seat getting misty-eyed.
Sports films and documentaries seem to have rehashed a lot of material over the years. Sometimes the same thing gets tiresome after a while. And Kelce is no exception in that it has some of those themes you’ve heard of – the aging athlete contemplating retirement; the weight of being a sports star on your loved ones; the rugged grit of having a physically demanding job; and the taxing impact on your body. But so what?
All of those themes in the documentary work well for the film, and under the direction and edits of Don Arnott, there is a meaningful tone to it. People love athletes because they go out and try to achieve their dreams, and this documentary is about just that.
It’s almost odd that a sports star in the city of Philadelphia, a place that is the setting for the Rocky films, has a character like Jason Kelce. He optimizes that persona of an underdog who doesn’t know when to stay down. His grit and determination are at the forefront of the film, as is his love for the game and family.
Read More: Kelce Ending Explained
Verdict - 9/10