Loading ...
photo

Disney’s ‘Safety’ is true story of a college athlete forced to hide his baby brother in his dorm

An “I’m Spartacus” scene is a movie trope that cannot miss and it doesn’t again in “Safety.” A band of buddies standing together to defy authority may be even more moving now, when it’s difficult for us to be together. In the fact-based “Safety,” premiering Friday on Disney Plus, the buddies rise for Ray Ray…

An “I’m Spartacus” scene is a movie trope that cannot miss and it doesn’t again in “Safety.”

A band of buddies standing together to defy authority may be even more moving now, when it’s difficult for us to be together. In the fact-based “Safety,” premiering Friday on Disney Plus, the buddies rise for Ray Ray McElrathbey (earnest, likable Jay Reeves), a Clemson football player who ran afoul of the NCAA when he needed extra help from the team’s supporters.

With his mother in rehab for an extended period, teenage McElrathbey became the guardian of his younger brother, smuggling him into his dorm room in laundry carts and leaning on teammates and fans for help.

It’s quite a story and director Reginald Hudlin, whose last feature was the Thurgood “Marshall” biopic starring the late Chadwick Boseman, tells it simply. McElrathbey, who does everything he can to make a better life for himself and his brother, is an incredibly appealing character so Hudlin doesn’t lean too hard on the heroics. “Safety” is just as interested in the moments when McElrathbey falls short, disappointing a potential romantic interest because he never has time to meet her or violating team rules because his brother can’t be trusted alone in his dorm room. (Also, Hudlin doesn’t lean on the cute quotient. Far from a clichéd adorable moppet, the kid, played by Thaddeus J. Mixson, is kind of a pain.)

What McElrathbey accomplished is almost unimaginable — the movie would be hard to swallow if it weren’t a well-documented story. So Hudlin wisely focuses on the day-to-day details as McElrathbey’s insta-parenthood inevitably shifts from a secret he struggles to keep, to a team project, to an NCAA problem. (It helps that, like the CIA, the NCAA is a universally hissable bad guy.)

Unlike “Mulan” or the upcoming “Soul,” which Disney shifted to its streaming service because few theaters are open to play them, the modest “Safety” feels like it always was intended for the small screen. The actors are fine but it’s an extremely low-wattage cast (the most recognizable name is not-recognizable-at-all James Badge Dale as McElrathbey’s coach). Even if you don’t know about these events, which took place in the mid-2000s, the beats of the story have the familiar, organized-around-commercial-breaks structure of a TV show.

The structure works, though, because “Safety” is about a different kind of toughness than most sports movies. McElrathbey was a role player for Clemson who never became a star, which means “Safety” can’t rely on the big play/come-from-behind upset/David-and-Goliath climax you might expect. That missing piece might be why “Safety” was made on a small scale but it works in its favor.

That McElrathbey’s life doesn’t fit the mold of your average inspiring sports movie is a good thing because it allows “Safety” to show that winning off the field is much more important than on.

Chris Hewitt • 612-673-4367

var rSkunkConfig = {"enforcement":true,"countViews":{"guests":true,"loggedIn":true,"subscribers":true},"unmetered":{"sectionPaths":["/bios","/contactus","/help","/offers","/lifestyle/kids-health","/video","/employees/benefits","/obituaries","/jobs/topworkplaces","/local/coronavirus"],"contentIds":["567017141","568218002","509847411","509848031","482552141","476040393","476040393","401897905","425373843","415781003","150460817983","415693713","436316953","450623913","450625343","450625693","450626083","450626583","437687453","437687753","437688303","437689683","457733433","457733503","457733463","457733493","436740613","447378683","445108753","443065933","443995433","444238433","423913703","25373843","458348643","465767963","465254943","464643883","461549583","458022893","457739213","467925683","462160283","461536853","459432053","458940033","453678863","452142423","450626813","450626193","450626083","450625443","450624983","449833993","447193403","446218753","443287373","442502253","441039553","434692633","433894613","432007273","427690133","425990133","421479323","420760943","420536403","419496503","419098944","415888474","415824304","415816963","415401364","412715643","411587345","388264102","378131721","334111481","268952601","257505631","218991591","227829611","231193891","115289839","296766441","296743831","217991401","137705393","11603211","241138711","11601086","238868691","216063751","137104018","251069101","218991591","506817361","568614092"],"referrers":{"regex":"","exclude":false},"userAgent":"strib-mobile-app-webview"},"storageKey":"rskunk_platypus","baseURL":"//users.startribune.com","embedURL":"//users.startribune.com/embed/mainapp.build.js?c=ddea53e6fc5de3aa044b7152b11070794d8ae6ec","embedAssets":["//users.startribune.com/embed/third-party/growl.css","//users.startribune.com/embed/third-party/colorbox.css"],"placementName":"www.startribune.com","loginRedirect":"//www.startribune.com/login?passive=true&path=","logoutRedirect":"//www.startribune.com/logout?path=","dataExpiration":{"type":"thirtyDays","month":1,"day":1,"hour":0,"min":0,"sec":0},"topTier":{"id":"limit-visa-compliance-627","count":18},"tiers":[{"id":"limit-visa-compliance-627","count":18,"action":"ignore","mute":false,"action_config":false,"start":"//users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-visa-compliance-627/start"},{"id":"metersports-adunit-desktop-574","count":17,"action":"ignore","mute":false,"action_config":false,"start":"//users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/metersports-adunit-desktop-574/start"},{"id":"limit-regfirst-desktop-331","count":16,"action":"ignore","mute":false,"action_config":false,"start":"//users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-regfirst-desktop-331/start"},{"id":"metersports-desktop-574","count":15,"action":"ignore","mute":false,"action_config":false,"start":"//users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/metersports-desktop-574/start"},{"id":"metersports-desktop-565","count":14,"action":"ignore","mute":false,"action_config":false,"start":"//users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/metersports-desktop-565/start"},{"id":"limit-signup-optimizely","count":13,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":{"template":"{% extends "grid" %}rn rn{% block heading_text %}Youu2019ve read your free articles for this 30 day period. Sign up now for local coverage you wonu2019t find anywhere else, special sections and your favorite columnists. StarTribune puts Minnesota and the world right at your fingertips. {% endblock %}rn rn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rn{# limit Krux pixel from //www.squishlist.com/strib/customshop/328/ #}rnrnrn//Load jQuery library using plain JavaScriptrn(function(){rn var newscript = document.createElement('script');rn newscript.type = 'text/javascript';rn newscript.async = true;rn newscript.src = '//code.jquery.com/jquery-3.1.0.min.js';rn (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0]||document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(newscript);rnvar newscript2 = document.createElement('script');rn newscript2.type = 'text/javascript';rn newscript2.async = true;rn newscript2.src = '//cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/js-cookie/2.1.3/js.cookie.min.js';rn (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0]||document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(newscript2);rn})();rn/********TEST CODE for METER SNOW PLOW ANALYTiCS*******************/rnvar meter = {};rn$(document).ready(function(){rn // console.log("this loads well");rn $('.js-optimizely-click-goal').click(function(){rn // console.log(this);rn meter['type'] = $("input[name='offer']").val();rn if(meter['type'] = 131){meter['type'] = "Premium Digital Access";}rn else if(meter['type'] = 130){meter['type'] = "Sunday Print + Digital";}rn else if(meter['type'] = 129){meter['type'] = "7-Day Print + Digital";}rn else if(meter['type'] = 128){meter['type'] = "Sunday Print";}rn meter['date'] = new Date().toLocaleString();rn // console.log(meter['type']);rn // console.log(meter['date']);rn var json_meter_cookie = JSON.stringify(meter);rn Cookies.set('meter_sign_up', json_meter_cookie); rn rn });rn});rn/************************************************************************/rn // FACEBOOK TRACKING PIXEL #1rn !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s)rn {if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod?rn n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};rn if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version='2.0';rn n.queue=[];t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0;rn t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e)[0];rn s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}(window,document,'script',rn '//connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js');rn fbq('init', '590074241155998'); rn fbq('track', 'ViewContent');rn rnrn{% endblock %}"},"start":"//users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup-optimizely/start"},{"id":"limit-signup","count":12,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":{"template":"{% extends "grid" %}rnrn{% block heading_text %}Youu2019ve read your 10 free articles for this 30 day period. Sign up now for local coverage you wonu2019t find anywhere else, special sections and your favorite columnists. StarTribune puts Minnesota and the world right at your fingertips. {% endblock %}rnrn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rn{# limit Krux pixel from //www.squishlist.com/strib/customshop/328/ #}rnrnrn//Load jQuery library using plain JavaScriptrn(function(){rn var newscript = document.createElement('script');rn newscript.type = 'text/javascript';rn newscript.async = true;rn newscript.src = '//code.jquery.com/jquery-3.1.0.min.js';rn (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0]||document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(newscript);rnvar newscript2 = document.createElement('script');rn newscript2.type = 'text/javascript';rn newscript2.async = true;rn newscript2.src = '//cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/js-cookie/2.1.3/js.cookie.min.js';rn (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0]||document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(newscript2);rn})();rn/********TEST CODE for METER SNOW PLOW ANALYTiCS*******************/rnvar meter = {};rn$(document).ready(function(){rn // console.log("this loads well");rn $('.js-optimizely-click-goal').click(function(){rn // console.log(this);rn meter['type'] = $("input[name='offer']").val();rn if(meter['type'] = 131){meter['type'] = "Premium Digital Access";}rn else if(meter['type'] = 130){meter['type'] = "Sunday Print + Digital";}rn else if(meter['type'] = 129){meter['type'] = "7-Day Print + Digital";}rn else if(meter['type'] = 128){meter['type'] = "Sunday Print";}rn meter['date'] = new Date().toLocaleString();rn // console.log(meter['type']);rn // console.log(meter['date']);rn var json_meter_cookie = JSON.stringify(meter);rn Cookies.set('meter_sign_up', json_meter_cookie); rnrn });rn});rn/************************************************************************/rn // FACEBOOK TRACKING PIXEL #1rn !function(f,b,e,v,n,t,s)rn {if(f.fbq)return;n=f.fbq=function(){n.callMethod?rn n.callMethod.apply(n,arguments):n.queue.push(arguments)};rn if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version='2.0';rn n.queue=[];t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0;rn t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e)[0];rn s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}(window,document,'script',rn '//connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js');rn fbq('init', '590074241155998'); rn fbq('track', 'ViewContent');rnrnrn{% endblock %}"},"start":"//users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup/start"},{"id":"meter-desktop-331","count":10,"action":"ignore","mute":false,"action_config":false,"start":"//users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/meter-desktop-331/start"},{"id":"PDA991499opt","count":9,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":false,"start":"//users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/PDA991499opt/start"},{"id":"limit","count":8,"action":"inject","mute":false,"action_config":{"template":"

rnrnrnt$('body, html').css('overflow', 'hidden');rnrnrn

rn

rn

rn rn

Premium Digital Access
starting at 99u00a2

rn t

rn SUBSCRIBErn Already a subscriber? Log in.rn

rn

All Star Tribune readers without a Digital Access subscription are given a limited number of complimentary articles every 30 days. Once the article limit is reached we ask readers to purchase a subscription including Digital Access to continue reading. Digital Access is included in all multi-day paper home delivery, Sunday + Digital, and Premium Digital Access subscriptions. After the 1 month Premium Digital Access introductory period you will be charged at a rate of $14.99 per month. You can see all subscription options or login to an existing subscription herern

rn ?rn

rn

rn

rn

rn

rn"},"start":"//users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit/start"},{"id":"nag","count":7,"action":"lightbox","mute":true,"action_config":{"height":null,"width":"630px","redirect_on_close":null,"template":"{% extends "shell" %}rnrn{% block substyles %}rn

rn{% endblock %}rnrn{% block page %}rn{#rnrn{{ limit - count - 1 }}rnrn{{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: 'firstSlide'}, null, null, '_top') }}rn {{ form.btn('Save Now') }}rn{{ form.flow_form_close() }}rnrn

rn {{ form.get_general_error_messages(['authenticate']) }}rn {{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: 'login'}, ['authenticate'], 'login-form', '_top') }}rn

rn {{ form.login }}rn {{ form.flow_form_close() }}rn

rnrnKeep reading rnu2022 Log inrnrnrnrn#}rn

rn

rn

You have {{ limit - count - 1 }} articles left

rn

rn Keep readingrn u00a0u00a0u2022u00a0u00a0rn Log inrn

rn

rn

rn

rn {{ form.get_general_error_messages(['authenticate']) }}rn {{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: 'login'}, ['authenticate'], 'login-form', '_top') }}rn

rn {{ form.login }}rn {{ form.flow_form_close() }}rn

rn Save More Todayrn

Over 70% off!

rn

rn

rn Star Tribunern

rn

rn

99u00a2 for first 4 weeks

rn {{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: 'firstSlide'}, null, null, '_top') }}rn {{ form.button('Save Now', 'btn nag-btn') }}rn {{ form.flow_form_close() }}rn

rn

rn{% endblock %}rnrn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rnrn $('.log-in-toggle').click(function(){rn $('.log-in').toggle();rn $('#login_email_address').focus();rn mtr_utils.resize();rn });rn $(document).ready(function(){rn setInterval(function(){rn mtr_utils.resize();rn }, 5000);rn });rnrn{% endblock %}"},"start":"//users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/nag/start"},{"id":"x","count":4,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":false,"start":"//users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/x/start"},{"id":"multi-start","count":3,"action":"fly_in","mute":true,"action_config":{"location":"bottom_left","slide_direction":"bottom","group_id":null,"display_delay":"0","collapse_delay":"10","template":"

rn

rn

rn

rn u00d7rn

rn

rn

From just

rn

$3.79 99u00a2 a week

rn Save nowrn

rn

rn

"},"start":"//users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/multi-start/start"}]};

{{'#'+category.name}}{{'#'+tag.name}}
{{ model.post.votes_count }}Likes
Load more comments +

guy
arrow