Movie Review: D2 Mighty Ducks

D2: The Mighty Ducks Trailer

D2: The Mighty Ducks Summary

Former Pee-Wee hockey coach Gordon Bombay is a star in the minor leagues, expected to reach the National Hockey League. However, a career-ending knee injury brings him back to the Blukeville district of Minneapolis. Bombay is offered a chance to coach a team representing the United States in the Junior Goodwill Games in Los Angeles. He manages to reunite most of his former Ducks players, while the Hawks try to enact revenge for their humiliating loss two years earlier. Their plans are foiled by Fulton, who leaves them tied up in their underpants. Team USA consists of many of the old Ducks, in addition to five new players with special talents.

In Los Angeles, the lure of celebrity distracts Bombay, who begins to neglect the team for a luxurious lifestyle. The team wins easy victories over Trinidad, Tobago, and Italy in the double-elimination tournament. Fulton Reed and Dean Portman gain recognition for their enforcer skills, and are dubbed the “Bash Brothers”. Backup goaltender Julie Gaffney asks Bombay for a chance to play, but is told to wait as goalie Greg Goldberg is on a hot streak.

The team suffers an embarrassing 12–1 defeat against Iceland, coached by ex-NHL player Wolf “The Dentist” Stansson. USA plays badly, and star center Adam Banks is slashed in the wrist. Frustrated, Bombay drives his players even harder, but they begin to suffer from complete exhaustion. Realizing the children are too tired to complete their school work or even stay awake in class, the team’s tutor Michelle McKay intervenes, cancelling practice and confronting Bombay over his thoughtlessness. Once better rested, the players encounter a street hockey team who teaches them to play like “the real Team USA”.

Bombay continues to suffer from the pressure until Jan, brother of Bombay’s mentor Hans, visits and reminds him of his love for the game. In their match against Germany, Bombay fails to arrive on time, forcing Charlie to tell the referee Michelle is the team’s assistant coach. The team struggles, entering the third period tied, until Bombay arrives and apologizes to the team for his behavior. Inspired by the true return of their coach, the players win the game with their signature “Flying V”, and advance to the next round. 

The renewed Bombay finally realizes Adam’s wrist injury and benches him despite his complaints. To fill the open roster spot, Charlie recruits street hockey player Russ Tyler, whose unique “knucklepuck” – which rotates end over end rather than spinning around its centerline – secures USA’s victory over Russia, advancing them to the championship game for a rematch against Iceland. Adam’s injury is healed only to find Team USA with a full roster. Knowing the team needs Russ’s knucklepuck and Adam’s skill against Iceland, Charlie gives up his own spot, cementing his leadership as true team captain.

In the final game, the physically imposing Iceland initially dominates as the Ducks incur penalties: Ken picks a fight with an opposing player, the Bash Brothers fight the entire Iceland bench and Dwayne lassos an opposing player before he can check Connie. An annoyed Bombay observes, “this isn’t a hockey game, it’s a circus.”

After a rousing locker room speech from Bombay and new Duck jerseys from Jan, the team emerges rejuvenated. The Ducks tie the game with goals from Connie, Banks, Luis, and finally Russ, who was targeted by Iceland but disguised himself as Goldberg to pull off a successful “knucklepuck”. The game is forced to go to a five-shot shootout. With a 4–3 score in favor of the Ducks, Gunnar Stahl, the tournament’s leading scorer, is Team Iceland’s final shooter. Bombay replaces Goldberg with Julie, who has a faster glove. Gunnar fires a hard slapshot, and Julie falls to the ice. The entire stadium waits in breathless anticipation as she opens her glove and drops the puck, revealing the game-winning save and the Ducks’ triumph over Iceland to win the tournament.

The team returns to Minnesota, and sing Queen’s “We Are the Champions” around a campfire.

D2: The Mighty Ducks Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A fun hockey based movie. Filled with team work and social issues, this franchise was big during this time for a reason.

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