This Friday (or Thursday if you're a veteran movie-goer), a film called "Uncle Drew" will hit theaters. It's a movie about Kyrie Irving and his friends harassing Lil Rel and getting chased around by Lisa Leslie while Tiffany Haddish and Nick Kroll act like monsters.
So it's great.
You see, the only thing that will make you not like "Uncle Drew" is if you go into the movie hoping to validate your assertion that Kyrie Irving is better at basketball than he is at acting. Of course he is, dummy. Kyrie Irving is better at basketball than he is at anything else. That doesn't mean that his movie is garbage.
The movie is all of these things: silly, campy, ridiculous (which is also the name of an absolute heater from the soundtrack) and funny. That second one might scare you off, but campy is exactly what I wanted out of "Uncle Drew." It's a movie about a bunch of elderly people playing in a street ball tournament. If it were even five percent serious, that would be too much.
After an opening centered around a "30 for 30" discussing the legend of Uncle Drew's Rucker Park dominance, a street ball coach named Dax (Lil Rel), is trying to prepare his team for a tournament at Rucker Park. In order to do it, he'll need to defeat a team coached by Kroll. There's also a looming threat of his girlfriend (Haddish) leaving him.
But before Haddish can do it, Lil Rel's best player (played by Aaron Gordon LOL) leaves him for Kroll's team. Yada yada yada, Lil Rel becomes real homeless real quick.
While scouting replacements for Gordon's character, Lil Rel comes across Uncle Drew, a Rucker Park legend who now mostly likes to bully younger people. After some light sexual harassment of a player who was seemingly minding his own business, Uncle Drew shows off his chops and leaves Lil Rel smitten.
Dax knows that he needs Uncle Drew, but the only way Irving's character will play is if he gets all of his former teammates. It's at this point that the viewer is glad they opted against a mass email, as driving around in a van and picking up Reggie Miller, Chris Webber, Nate Robinson and Shaq one-by-one is way funnier. They are all outrageously mean to Lil Rel the entire time.
Though the team is stacked, they have unresolved issues from back in the day, specifically between Uncle Drew and Big Fella (Shaq). This is because Uncle Drew shtupped Big Fella's wife, who is played by nobody because she's dead.
Pressure mounts on everybody, as Lil Rel needs the money from the tournament and the players are fighting off both Father Time and the constant threat of Lisa Leslie maybe murdering them. Leslie's character, a devout Christian, spends much of the movie trying to "get" them because her husband (Webber) went to play basketball.
Eventually, after a terrific dance scene, the tournament takes place and the squad is fantastic. Leslie has since caught up to them and is now on the team. She's amazing, as is Robinson, who steals the show. It should be noted that the actors are in no way apprehensive about making references to some of the less flattering moments of their actual basketball careers. Also, the movie worth seeing for the visuals alone. Shaq and Robinson look hilarious, while Irving says he lost 10 pounds shooting the movie because of how much having all the prosthetics and makeup on him made him sweat.
I won't say the outcome of the tournament, but the hint is that I said it's a campy movie. You do the math.
This movie is more "Mighty Ducks" than it is "Remember the Titans." Yes, it will teach kids about being a team player and not shtupping your teammate's dead wife, but it's mainly just a fun, silly time. If you can't enjoy that -- to quote the actor who plays Big Fella -- there must be something wrong with you.