By James Davidson
“Uncle Drew” is a new comedy starring current and past professional basketball stars; Kyrie Irving, Nate Robinson, Aaron Gordon, Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber, and Lisa Leslie. The film follows a group of elderly former street basketball stars who are brought together to play again, fifty years after they had a falling out right before the 1968 Rucker Park Basketball Finals.
A down-on-his-luck streetball coach, Dax, (played by Lil Rel Howery) has put his life savings into entering a team in the famous Rucker Park Basketball tournament. He is sure his team will win the $100,000 prize, thanks to superstar streetball player Casper. When his childhood rival and fellow coach, Mookie, (played by Nick Kroll) steals his team; Dax must find another team just weeks before the tournament.
While looking for a team, Dax runs into elderly Rucker Park legend Uncle Drew (played by Irving) and convinces him to put his old team back together to enter the tournament. Uncle Drew’s team is made up of the elderly Preacher, (played by Chris Webber) Lights, (Reggie Miller) Boots, (Nate Robinson) and Big Fella (Shaquille O’Neal). The team hasn’t played together since 1968 and must overcome the drama which caused their team to break up before the finals that year.
I was very entertained by this movie. The acting was much better than I thought it was going to be. It wasn’t great, but considering most of the actors in this movie are professional athletes and not professional actors, I was pleasantly surprised at their performances. Especially considering Shaq’s past acting debaucles, I thought his performance was very good and had me laughing throughout the movie.
The humor was very well done and for the most part, clean and family friendly. The writers did a great job at keeping me laughing through the film without turning to adult-themed jokes which seem to be popular in most recent comedies. Watching these basketball stars portray elderly people and all of the problems that come with that was very funny.
I enjoyed all of the characters in this movie with the exception of Nick Kroll’s character Mookie, and Dax’s girlfriend Jess, who is played by Tiffany Haddish. I thought both of these characters were very annoying and grated on my nerves through most of the movie. I realize the characters were played this way purposefully, but they still got on my nerves. However, they didn’t ruin the movie for me as they weren’t in the entire movie, though I found myself cringing everytime they came on screen.
I had a few problems with the plot because it seemed to jump around at times. Almost like the director or writers forgot to put a joke in that they wanted and went back and put it in where it didn’t always fit in the story. Overall, I didn’t really mind this though as the movie kept me laughing and entertained.
While I thought this film was family friendly for the most part, it is rated PG-13 for some suggestive material, language, and brief nudity of Shaquille O’Neal’s hind end. So it is inappropriate for the younger children.
Uncle Drew is a fun, entertaining, funny movie that is fun for a family movie night. It earns 3 out of 5 stars.