Aimed squarely at pre-teens, Back Of The Net is an okay kids movie. While searching for something to watch with my own small child we thought it looked good and to be fair, it's a perfectly watchable family movie.
Back Of The Net is about a young American girl called Cory Bailey who is spending the Summer in Australia. Originally supposed to be on an ocean research trip, she accidentally gets on the wrong bus and ends up at Harold Soccer Academy. No prizes for guessing she has zero interest in playing soccer! With her parents on their own sabbatical in Africa and the boat long gone, she has no choice but to stay at the soccer camp.
She quickly makes friends with her roommates and after some dire try-outs they all end up on the ‘B' team. Competing in the National Soccer Tournament, a cup the B team has never won, Cory (Sofia Wylie) must now find a way to raise her team's game. Standing in her way is soccer superstar Edie, a particularly unlikeable young girl. She is threatened by Cory's friendship with Oliver and is determined to get rid of Cory.
But like all kids shows and movies, Cory manages to find a way to not only thwart Edie's plans but to improve her team so much that they make it to the final of the tournament. Of course she does. But can they win it?
Look, I'm not going to pretend that Back Of The Net is somehow the greatest kids movie ever made. It's not. But it's not terrible either. The script is fondue level cheesy and predictable but the acting is actually ok which kind of makes up for it. And for all Edie's spitefulness, she is the only ‘bad guy' character in the film. Similar to the characters in Malibu Rescue, the rest are quite lovely and welcome Cory's arrival with great enthusiasm. For kids, this is a winner and for the parents who have to watch along, there are worse movies you could be subjected to!