As a typical teenager, Travis Freeman (Mark Hapka) is a local hero both on and off the high-school football field in his small Kentucky town, but in 1997, Travis contracts an infection that destroys his optic nerve and renders him blind overnight. With the loving help and concern of his parents, physical therapist, coach and best friend, Travis demonstrates what true bravery is: He continues to compete on the gridiron and helps his team advance to the state finals.
Holy cow, I love this movie. I was a little concerned about letting my 12-year old watch it with me the first time (because of the PG-13 rating), but I needn’t have worried. There was mild drinking of alcohol, which gave it the rating, but which was a poignant lesson shared in the film. I felt fully engaged as I watched, and I actually cried at two different points. During the movie, I tried putting myself in this young man’s shoes, and simply couldn’t come to imagine it. I found myself thinking about my challenges, and realizing that, like Travis, I can move on and keep living. I’m grateful for his inspirational example, and will share this movie with my son and other family members as one that is definitely worth watching! After watching, I found myself wanting to know more, and so I spent time watching the bonus features. Wow, what an incredible story, and what a great young man! I’m so glad I had the chance to see 23 Blast; it’s a film I’ll watch again when I need motivation. I’m giving it 5 stars.
Here’s the trailer: