Rise review: Disney's latest family-friendly portrait of a superstar(s)

A still from Rise (Image via Disney)
A still from Rise (Image via Disney)

Rise was released on Disney+ on June 24, 2022. At its simplest, it is a straightforward portrait of one of the greatest players of this generation, Giannis Antetokounmpo (played by Uche Agada in the film).

However, the film had a lot of nuanced revelations about immigrant life and the stigma and poverty surrounding it.

It's a rather simple film with not many connotations or layers. However, it works incredibly well in portraying the one thing that it aims to portray- The rise of a generational hero.

At just under two hours, the film covered a large enough timeline in the Antetokounmpo family's life. It begins from the family's original immigration to the drafting of Giannis. The film doesn't leave much room to complain about, but it doesn't have too many things worth praising either.

Read on for a detailed review of Rise.


Rise review: A family's survival story over intense sports drama

Rise succeeds wonderfully in creating a premise where the family's backstory has greater prominence. Most sports films fail in this respect as the focus is often on beautifully shot scenes of the sport. By creating tension around the family's immigration, Rise manages to hit the right chords all along the way.

Though the film only has a few things to praise about, it doesn't mean that the two-hour drama is lacking or bad in any way. It is just that there are very few to none technical elements in the film that stand out. However, having all the elements blend in to be a 'good' film is better than just a few things shining bright while others fail miserably.

The plot for the film reads:

"After emigrating from Nigeria to Greece, the Antetokounmpos struggle to care for their five children. The brothers play basketball with a local team and discover their great abilities on the court."

The film managed to hit this mark beautifully. It feels good and fulfilling from the very start. Every aspect comes together to form a beautiful story that has its ups and downs but gleams with drama on every occasion, making it a beautiful watch. The film would be a good watch for children as well as adults.

Perhaps children will not relate as much to the financial and identity struggles of immigrants, but there is still plenty to enjoy in the inspiring sports film.

Another thing the film did well was build the final tension point around the drafting and not around the game, as most sports films tend to do. This made for some compelling drama without taking away the stakes of high-tension sports films. Much of the credit goes to Akin Omotoso's excellent direction.

All the actors performed brilliantly. This resulted in a story that looked and felt real. By the end of the film, the characters would have formed a certain intimate bond with the viewer, and that is a remarkable achievement for any film to achieve.

All in all, this is a great family film as well as a great overall watch. Few sports films can make you feel the way this one will, and it is sure to leave you with a feeling of pure fulfillment.

Rise is now streaming on Disney+.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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