An entertaining behind-the-scenes look at a football player at the height of his career, this documentary benefits from its access and has enough human interest to appeal even to non-football fans.
The key to Kelce is that it's the story of Jason Kelce as a son, brother, husband, and father, not just as the popular Eagles center. For that, director Don Argott was able to spend time with Kelce and his extended family.
Sure, it's a flattering portrayal (you never know what's left on the editing room floor), but the access allows for insights like how he met his wife on Tinder and then fell asleep on their first date, or how he and his brother Travis's parents were effectively separated for years but continued living under the same roof to raise the boys. The camera is in the hotel room when Kelce returns home after his team's Super Bowl defeat.
The 2022-23 season was a big one for Kelce: he considered retirement, helped bring his team to the Super Bowl (where he faced off against his brother's team), launched a popular podcast with his brother, and welcomed a new baby.
The will-he-or-won't-he-retire set-up of the documentary won't pay off for anyone who follows Kelce's career (ironically, the less you know about Kelce and football in general, the more suspenseful this film will be). Either way, it's still interesting to see the emotion and reservations that went into his decision, especially knowing it's still coming down the pipeline.
An especially unique scene shows him at a table with a group of retired Eagles players talking sincerely about the highlights and lowlights of retirement. Likewise, his tearful coming-to-terms in a final scene, admitting that the daily challenges of football provide the fire that "keeps you alive," holds lessons for us all.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.
Images courtesy of Amazon Prime Video.