Whatever top of blacktop you got to step on, you knew there was a game of basketball going on at some point. While I stunk at the game, watching my fellow classmates agilely school each other in the art of hoops was something that held a lot pizazz, energy, and fun. Tonight, a movie promising to revive that fun, alongside teaching some legends in the art of basketball Zen and entertain the masses. Is this moving going to take home the prize or will it be nothing but an air ball? Robbie K here to review another movie and share his thoughts on the silver screen cinematic known as:
Movie: Uncle Drew (2018)
Comedy: Uncle Drew is certainly in the art of playful insults, trash talking, and of course the elderly living life to the fullest. The comedy is spread between a variety of styles, balancing them into an act that feels natural and realistic. I had my fair share of laughs seeing the various slapsticks and certainly enjoyed the delivery by the various basketball stars. In addition, the movie is able to balance Tiffany Haddish’s style of comedy into the mix, giving you plenty of attitude, but not to the point of annoyance.
The Character Development: Certainly not the biggest selling point, but the movie expands n what looked like a one-dimensional cast, and brought some more relevant players to the bench. While not the deepest dives in a movie, it’s an attempt to give us more backstory and care about the characters. In addition, a few twists come from these back stories so well done in those regards of adding to the tale.
The Soundtrack: A mixture of old and new school track lists, Uncle Drew’s crew is ready to rock out to a sensational list of rap, hip-hop, R&B, blues, and a little techno. They pair to the scenes well, add energy to the scene, and if all else fails works to get you dancing in your seat. My favorite track is certainly during the dance off, got love those beats and moves coming together.
The Morals: You want life lessons? Drew’s got them. You want bonding of family and trust? Drew’s got them. You want other lessons about confidence, respect, and the love of the game? Again, Drew has them. This movie is certainly about teaching much across the generations, unafraid to call out mistakes and inspire to see the world from different angles. These lessons are certainly a keystone for this movie, but it works given that attitude and energy of the film.
The Games: Drew is supposed to be about the moves and being capable of schooling the young players. Well thank goodness they showed off those skills in enough cinematic glory. There are at least two games that give the players their respectful bouts of basketball, blowing the screen up in impressive displays of agility, coordination, and attitude. It explodes with the youthful energy, and brings some tension to keep the game interesting. In addition, these scenes, like the movie, are fun and keep all this balanced to not break from the theme of the movie.
More Depth: The movie made attempts to develop characters, it just needed to dive further in and develop some more tension. Much of the plot points are sub-par at best, deep scars that seem to resolve quickly and lack the full intensity of resolution Drew tried to make them. For two hours… the movie could have utilized some time to give the deeper moments more… well depth.
Ridiculous moments: I get it, the concept itself is nuts, but that aside, Uncle Drew sometimes takes the levels a little too high to fit into the movie. Sure, it’s entertaining and fun, but some of these scenes divert away from the attempts to be serious, or just become bloated bouts of banter that unnecessarily extends the movie. If this is your style, get ready for plenty of crazy moments, otherwise just steel yourself for about ten minutes max.
Ending Credits: Small dislike, but the credits would have worked for me had they just been the bloopers, which contained lines I wish had made it to the film’s actual dialogue. However, the Haddish ending scene was just a grandiose attempt to bring her attitude more into the mix and didn’t need to be there.
Predictable: Much of this is due to the trailers showing too much off, but the movie has only a few twists to try to throw you for a whirl. Much of the attempts are soap opera like stunts that did little to move me because they can see them from a mile away. The movie needed a little more gup behind it to help get a little more slamming behind it.
Cliché: Perhaps also in the predictable category, the messages are powerful, but they are preachy, presented sometimes in an overdramatic manner seen in Tyler Perry or Nicholas Sparks books. It will hit deep in the heart for many, but keep your eyes open and you’ll see the overdramatic presentation I’m talking about.
The Length: Two hours doesn’t seem long enough once the fun starts, the problem is the first part. Props to them for not skimping on the recruiting scenes as it gave each guy there moment in the sun. However, there were comedic ploys that got overused, or they went out of the way to execute to be honest, and for me that just added unnecessary length to the movie. There is at least 15 minutes to be edited out, but still it works.
Mookie: I get it he was supposed to be annoying, and Nick Kroll did his job well to amplify the obnoxious presentation that was Dax’s rival Mookie. Does not mean I wanted a character like this in the movie. Mookie is an annoying piece of work, that serves its purpose of drawing ire out of every character and setting up for an intense rivalry. Yet, his scenes were very draining on my patience and I cherished the silence that followed his babbling of disgustingness.
Uncle Drew is certainly a great representation of black top antics and the spirit of street basketball, brotherhood, and pride. It works to cover multiple generations, and will certainly appeal to many in terms of its comedy, sports nature, and all out fun. Yet, the movie still has some editing components to cut into, dropping the out of the way laugh attempts for some character depth that can spice up the predictable plot. Nevertheless, the movie is fun and energetic and certainly appropriate for many to go and lace up for. I’d say this movie warrants a visit if you are looking to have fun and strongly encourage group outings to thoroughly enjoy it.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 7.0