Liberation Entertainment // 2008 // 84 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ryan Keefer (Retired) // May 1st, 2008
David Beckham is a phenomenon.
I'll admit that I drank some of the David Beckham media swooning Kool Aid in the past, and I've got a jersey from his Real Madrid time which attests to that. However, I was privy to his first competitive game, in Washington against DC United. And I got the privilege to sit in the front row as the world's most recognizable player came on as a late substitution in DC United's 1-0 win against Becks' Los Angeles Galaxy. I'll talk about my experiences in a minute.
David Beckham's arrival to Major League Soccer has been talked about and analyzed to death, and along with some sit down interviews to herald the start of the new season, there have also been some looks behind the scenes that perhaps he might not have wanted to discuss and recognize. These unauthorized looks at Becks' life and career sometimes are sensationalist in nature and bring material to the forefront that others wouldn't have know about, and other times they are pieces that are redundant pieces of tripe, and are unauthorized simply due to the fact that no footage was available to the makers of the piece. Life of an Icon appears to fall firmly into the latter. The disc touts footage of Beckham's greatest moments in his sporting career as a member of Manchester United, then to Real Madrid and finally to the Galaxy, along with his international career as a member of the English national team, but in terms of balance, I'd say that the footage is 80 percent still shots and 20 percent actual video, including his fabled goal against Greece to propel the Brits to the 2006 World Cup. And even though it includes, as it says, "commentary from players and pundits," there's maybe five minutes of interview footage from tree of Becks' playing partners, and then goes really heavy on the pundits, both sports and entertainment, and those who have written about Beckham and/or the media hype surrounding the man. One media person whose name currently escapes me discusses the press fervor around pictures of Beckham by saying that after the death of Princess Diana that the paparazzi in England were "sitting on their hands" until Becks took his place as the most heavily photographed Briton going today. Real classy stuff there pal.
As far as a look as Beckham's life, things are pretty high level, and for those who aren't familiar with it, he was groomed into a role with United early on, and was noted for scoring a goal from mid-field during play, and from there he grew into the role of a midfielder who was known for his creative passing and free kicks. His role as a superstar off the field increased when he dated and eventually married Posh Spice, and his Man U manager Alex Ferguson apparently became more frustrated by this, and Beckham eventually went to Real Madrid and played well, though he was hounded by injuries and clashes with manager Fabio Capello, who benched him shortly after his announced signing with the Galaxy. He managed to redeem himself in the final weeks of the Spanish League and helped Real to a League title before coming to the sunny shores of the West Coast. The interviews and recollections by those who are supposedly "close" to him are relative at best, and this documentary appears to fall in the same vein of any other British tabloid, long on flash, short on substance. Watch one of the many Beckham interviews that have been conducted in the last several weeks, like the one on 60 Minutes, and you'll get opinions and thoughts from the man himself, along with footage of the games that are referenced, because by all means this thing is a rather pointless piece of manufactured drama.
Coming back to the LA-DC game, some things I wanted to clarify on it. I didn't really sit, more I stood with the Screaming Eagles supporters club. And we stood the whole time, singing songs in support of DC United, some of which were fun, some of which were not necessarily for younger ears. At some point late in the first half or early into the second, it started to rain, and the rain, mixed with the singing, mixed with the crowd of 48,000 or so in the stands, it really took me back to the days of going to games with my family when I would go to England to see my Mom's family. In the resulting months, I've taken friends to games and bought season tickets to games this year. If me and my cold heart can be swayed into adding revenue to the Major League Soccer coffers, other people certainly are as well, and in that regard, Beckham is making soccer visible to those who used to chew on orange slices and consume drink boxes, and that's always a good thing, whether you like it or not.
Review content copyright © 2008 Ryan Keefer; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Liberation Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 84 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Additional Footage
* Official David Beckham Site
* Official LA Galaxy Site