Looking for another inspiring, feel-good movie for the holidays? SAFETY is a drama inspired by the empowering story of former Clemson University football safety Ray McElrathbey. Ray is a young man facing a series of challenging circumstances, whose dedication and persistence empower him to triumph over repeated adversities. Aided by his teammates and the Clemson community, he succeeds on the field while simultaneously raising and caring for his 11-year-old brother Fahmarr. SAFETY is a new Original Movie streaming on Disney+.
If you enjoy movies like THE ROOKIE, MIRACLE, INVINCIBLE, MILLION DOLLAR ARM and MCFARLAND, USA, then you will like SAFETY. The movie introduces us to the 2006 heartfelt story depicted by actor Jay Reeves (ALL AMERICAN, THE TAX COLLECTOR).
My high school daughter and I were particularly interested in learning about the experiences that ‘Ray Ray’ had as a freshman athlete at college and all the responsibilities and choices he made. This movie was especially intriguing to my daughter who has been curious about different types of life as a college student.
- When the filmmakers contacted Clemson University to look into the possibility of filming on campus, the school went out of its way to make it work. Director Reginald Hudlin recalls, “Clemson generously said we love this movie, we love Ray, we’re going to let you film during a Clemson football game”.
- With a live audience of 85,000 die-hard Clemson fans, there were five cameras on the field, thirteen cameras throughout the stadium, 185 extras, 45 on the football field, and special stunts all choreographed to pull off four scenes in seven minutes and twenty seconds. Just enough time to run down to the field from the top of a hill, perform the plays and get off the field. “It’s not as tough as what Ray had to do, but it’s no joke,” laughs Hudlin. “It was really important to capture the excitement of a Clemson football game. A lot of NFL professional football teams don’t have stadiums this big. I’ve been to three games here, and they’ve all be packed. We wanted to get that excitement, that enthusiasm. You can’t recreate a lot of that.”
- To give the added feel of being a football athlete, several sequences are shot directly from the player’s helmet, giving you a front-row experience running down the field.
According to Stella Rating: Family Viewing Disclaimer (1/low – 5/high scale)
SAFETY is rated PG. The MPAA rating has been assigned for “thematic content involving drug addiction, and some language.” There are scenes that include a couple flirting, couples dancing, and shirtless young men in locker rooms; as well as several football practices and game scenes with players crashing into each other and being pushed to their limits of pain, and several arguments, discussions of custody, foster care, and a drug treatment program, and some strong language. My 16-year old daughter and I give SAFETY the following rating:
- 1 – SEX/NUDITY
- 3 – VIOLENCE/GORE
- 3 – PROFANITY