The first two episodes of Joe Montana: Cool Under Pressure are a thorough coverage of the legend’s resiliency and hint at a possibly thrilling finish.
This review of the Peacock original docuseries Joe Montana: Cool Under Pressure may contain minor spoilers.
Peacock’s new sports docuseries (and I am using air quotes when I use the word “new”) Joe Montana: Cool Under Pressure is like watching a good updated episode of Dateline. It’s a story you have watched before. However, they are sprinkling in some new interviews from current stars. Of course, also the legend mentioned above, Joe Montana. That’s because the latest offering from the plucky streaming network takes archival footage of previous works from another legend in football history, NFL Films.
If you grew up watching the great Steve Sabol as I did, NFL Films was the gold standard of insight into America’s new favorite Sunday religion. The theme music was intoxicating. You would be become transfixed by Sabol’s voice. You couldn’t wait to see if the film that week was about your favorite team. (In my case, if it weren’t the Buffalo Bills, I would take it very personally). So, the quality for this true sports series is there.
They even give past interviews updated, colorized treatment similar to that seen in the documentary They Shall Not Grow Old. You’ll notice how Montana’s parent’s interviews, former head coaches like Dan Devine, are remarkably sharper and enhanced. The reason this is done is to seamlessly make the viewer feel like they are in an active discussion. There are interviews of former coaches and players like Sam Wyche and Dwight Clark, which are presented as current, but in reality, these men passed away years prior.
The first two episodes, Growing up Montana and Camelot, offer more of a setup and no new revelations. Certainly, nothing like the Super Bowl-winning quarterback promised in recent interviews about shocking revelations. However, let’s face it, most young people stream shows, and the majority have no idea who the man is. You know, besides those Sketchers commercials. (And most would ask who is that old guy with good old Corona Tone, anyway). I’ll admit, it’s a very thorough coverage (pun intended) of how his struggles to rise to the top to start Notre Dame and San Francisco 49er quarterback.
If you are a football fan or a novice, you’ll undoubtedly be marveled by Montana’s resiliency. Even non-sports fans know the story of Rudy, and the connection drawn here is a fascinating one. At the very least, Joe Montana: Cool Under Pressure will educate young football fans on the man who was Tom Brady before there was a Tom Brady. (Even the current Tampa Bay quarterback says Montana is the greatest of all time).
This is a quality setup that hints at, quite possibly, a thrilling finish.