‘We are Champions’ movie review: Sappy sports drama showcases young Taiwanese stars

Fandy Fan and Berant Chu turn in sincere performances as brothers who are basketball rivals

Jamie Lam |

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Taiwanese teen sports drama We are Champions is a sappy and action-packed story of two brothers who become rivals on the basketball court after a falling out at home. Boasting sincere performances from both its young leads, it’s a touching story about the power of brotherhood.

Brash younger brother Tong-hao (Berant Chu) and timid older brother Hsiu-yu (Fandy Fan) tear up the street courts as the number-one duo in pickup basketball games. Fed up with a life of poverty, Tong-hao joins an elite high school team for a chance to shine, while Hsiu-yu joins a weaker local team. The two siblings each go through different hardships, but are destined to meet again on the court at the High School Basketball League finals.

 

 

Though the plot is fairly predictable, the heartfelt performances of both lead actors will keep the audience invested. Fan brings just the right amount of vulnerability to his role as the shy, unselfish, pass-first point guard, while Chu is perfect as the talented ace who can put the entire team on his back to bring home the win.

The supporting cast is great as well, with David Wu standing out as the tough but fair coach of the elite Yuying team.

The basketball action is also accurately done, with believable sequences that don’t go overboard. Though the pacing is a little slow, the final product is a heart-warming tale that is sure to delight.