When American pro football players go on strike, Edward O’Neil (Jack Warden) the owner of the Washington Sentinels brings back veteran coach Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman) on a deal which sees McGinty in total control of team selections. Without regular players to choose from, McGinty chooses a team of players no one else wants including a prisoner (Michael Jace), a sumo wrestler (Ace Yonamine), a chain smoking Welsh kicker (Rhys Ifans) and a maniacal cop (Jon Favreau). To lead them, he brings in Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves), a one-time top college quarterback who dropped out of sight after one disastrous game. As if Falco doesn’t have enough problems on the field, his eyes are soon wandering off the field, in the direction of cheerleader director Annabell Farrell (Brooke Langton).

During a pro football strike, the owners hire substitute players.

Those greedy pro-footballers of Washington`s Sentinals team who are on five million dollars want more - the insurance on those Ferrari`s is killing them... No sympathy from the bosses... so strike is the obvious solution... What do the bosses like O`Neil (Jack Warden) do?.... They turn to former coaches like Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman) to supply a replacement team in the short term. McGinty insists on going his own way and he chooses a team of talented losers, which includes Shane Falco (Keanu Reeves) a choker, a butter-fingered sprinter (Orlando Jones), a seriously manic police officer (Jon Favreau) and chain-smoking Welsh star kicker Rhys Ifans... and a couple of really imposing forwards. But this film is not really about individuals, it`s about the team, it`s about glory... It`s surprising that Hackman and Reeves would sign on to such a predicatable, however much-loved, scenario. It`s so unoriginal it`s amazing. However, these myths of our lives obviously need to be told again and again. We like being told that it`s possible for the flawed to overcome the obnoxious and the greedy. I`m not so sure about being expected to cheer on strike-breakers. The director was Howard Deutch who has directed a number of successful comedy sequels, like Grumpier Old Men, The Odd Couple II, but also directed some years ago now Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful. The Replacements is mildly enjoyable because of the team`s antics, despite the fact that the finer points of American football are extremely elusive, but I never deluded myself that I was seeing anything dynamic or insightful.. David`s comments: This odious film, which celebrates scabs and strikebreakers, gets the Peter Reith Award. What is Gene Hackman doing in such obnoxious, cliched trash?