Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, Andre Benjamin
Directed by Kent Alterman
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Stater rating (out of five): **
While Will Ferrell is known for his one liners that made him a success in such movies as Anchorman and Elf, he fails to bring this humor to Semi-Pro. The movie becomes boring and repetative quickly.
Ferrell plays Jackie Moon, the player, owner and coach of the Flint Tropics basketball team in 1976. After Moon finds out the league is going to dissolve at the end of the season, and the top four teams will go to the NBA, he makes it his mission to get the Tropics to finish in fourth place.
In order to help his team accomplish this, Moon brings in a former NBA player named Monix, played by Woody Harrelson. Harrelson’s performance is one of the movie’s best. He portrays the washed-up basketball player as a likeable character the audience can relate to. He helps the team members to overcome their differences and work together to become better.
Semi-Pro tries too hard to be funny and has to resort to jokes that have been seen in Ferrell’s other movies. One scene involves Jackie Moon agreeing to wrestle a grizzly bear before a game so more fans will show up when the league’s commisioner, played by David Kochner (Anchorman), comes to the game. Ferrell’s character being chased by a bear seems similar to a scene to the ending of Anchorman.
The humor in the movie just seems awkward and forced. For example, in one part of the movie, several members of the Tropics are sitting around a table passing around what appears to be an unloaded gun. They each take turns pointing it at other players and making empty threats. The gun eventually goes off and shoots one of the players in the arm while the other Tropics go on laughing.
The movie also attempts to make fun of some of the ‘blacksploitation’ films of the ’70s by naming a character played by Andre Benjamin of Outkast, “Coffee Black.” This is just another example of how the movie just tries too hard to be funny.
Contact all reporter Kristen Kotz at [email protected]