REVIEW: “Uncle Drew” doesn’t quite have the flow he used to


Uncle Drew

Alex Novak

Kyrie Irving’s alter ego role as the streetball legend Uncle Drew has finally hit theaters on the silver screen.

We see the man, the myth, and the legend himself put together a team of old school guys after being recruited by a down on his luck ex-player/coach named Dax (Lil Rel Howery) who lost his former team for the famous Rucker Park tournament to his archrival Mookie (Nick Kroll).

The journey is full of fun and laughter as they recruit the former squad of Preacher (Chris Webber), Lights (Reggie Miller), Boots (Nate Robinson), Big Fella (Shaquille O’Neal), and eventually Betty Lou (Lisa Leslie), while Dax meets and begins to grow closer to Boots’ granddaughter Maya (Erica Ash).

Arriving at Rucker; however, the group is still bogged down by the circumstances of their break-up and must come together by facing its differences.

For myself, along with many of my childhood friends, we watched in awe as the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted Kyrie Irving in the summer of 2011 out of Duke University and cheered him on as he developed into a rising star in the NBA on the verge of becoming one of the league’s best point guards.

Along with that, I’m sure many Cavs fans can recall the first time they were introduced to Pepsi’s Uncle Drew commercials.

Uncle Drew was an older, experienced baller returning to the rough and rugged streets to teach the new generation youngbloods how to properly play the game he loves.

“[this film] has given me inspiration in terms of me being able to convey my old soul,” Irving recently stated himself when asked about the movie’s main character.

His philosophy is simple: master the fundamentals and be careful walking a line between greatness and arrogance, for complacency is easy to fall into.

“A basketball won’t complain or ask questions. You throw it down- it always bounces back,” the old school character states of his love for the game.

His belief that basketball can fix everything; however, really only masks his longtime inability to deal with his problems face-to-face.

The plot is far too predictable in its unimagitive weakly-written script and mediocre direction to make for a great film, found in the fact that you know in the first ten minutes exactly who is going to be taking the last shot.

Essentially, the comedic tone that it maintains so well coupled with its strongly performed characters make for a summer basketball junkie comedy that will be a must-see for NBA fans.

“You reach, I teach” has become a staple of pick-up game trash-talk around the globe for today’s young players.

If you’re from Northeast Ohio and even know a few things about recent Cleveland sports history, this film will remind us all of the special times we had at the center of Irving’s basketball world.

Meanwhile, the Cavs now sit here coming off the heels of being swept by the dominant Warriors in this year’s NBA Finals, and will not count with LeBron James anymore.

Thus, it could be a rough summer for Cavs fans, but we’ll always have those six years of Kyrie that were nothing short of sensational offensive mastery.

His impeccable sharp shooting, uncanny finishing ability, and ball handling wizardry remains close to our hearts to look back and reminisce on.

And the 2016 NBA Championship will provide joyful memories that will last a lifetime.

Alex Novak is an entertainment reviewer. Contact him at [email protected].