Directed by: Don Argott
Distributed by: Amazon Studios
Written by Alexander Reams
NFL center Jason Kelce embodies hard work, before the start of the 2022 football season he was weighing a decision: whether to retire or not. Kelce had played for 11 seasons in the NFL and that time had taken a toll on the Philadelphia Eagles Center. The documentary follows Kelce as he navigates a choice to enter retirement or return to the game, despite the physical limitations he now has. Kelce goes through his ailments and lists the various bones and tendons damaged over his years playing the game, and by the end, it’s a head-scratcher as to why he wants to play. The support he receives from his wife Kylie, and their two daughters, and the birth of their third daughter is covered in the film as well.
“Kelce” ultimately finds its voice when Jason signs for his 12th season, and from then on the film flies. It captures Jason with the same rawness of “Hard Knocks,” but this film is more interested in a mosaic look at the elder Kelce. The dynamic between Jason, and his younger brother Travis has been the entertainment for countless podcast listeners through their “New Heights” podcast, and while not fully the subject here, the energy the two brothers have together is special, and the moment a hint of it is dropped, it takes over the film. Argott adapts his film to the subject and ultimately “Kelce” thrives because it is a great showcase for Jason Kelce’s career, football relationships, and family, but as a portrait of Kelce it oftentimes falls into delusions of grandeur, with the film always teasing at deeper ideas like the long term damages of football, but unlike Kelce, it fails to follow through all the way.