Today! Because there’s a bear loose in the coliseum! There will be no refunds! Your refund will be escaping this deathtrap with your life!
Directed by Kent Alterman
Starring Will Ferrell (x3), Woody Harrelson (x5), Andre Benjamin, Maura Tierney (x2), Will Arnett, Andrew Daly, David Koechner, Rob Corddry (x3), Andy Richter, Matt Walsh (x5), DeRay Davis, Josh Braaten, Jay Phillips, Peter Cornell, Jackie Earle Haley (x3), Tim Meadows (x2), Patti LaBelle, Ian Roberts (x2), Ed Helms (x3), Jerry Minor, Jason Sudeikis, Kristen Wiig (x3)
The most underrated sports comedy in recent memory, Semi-Pro is basically a beat-for-beat basketball-based remake of #213 Slap Shot. I’ll admit that. Instead of the team on the verge of folding because of hometown financial distress, here it’s that the very real ABA is being acquired by the NBA, bringing the top four of its teams into the big league. Trying to fight their way into this select group is Jackie Moon’s Flint Tropics (the only fictional franchise in the movie), which needs to get their attendance number up to even compete, and that requires some gimmicks.
So, okay, is it the 70% knock-off of Slap Shot that bothers people? Because this is still a really funny movie. Sure, it does have the feeling of two different scripts slammed together into one movie – the wacky, Will Ferrell Jackie plot, along with Woody Harrelson’s over-the-hill former NBA player trying to get his old love life sorted out story. And they don’t mesh together terrible well, but neither is particularly bad. Plus it has that fun ’70s setting and a ton of great comedians filling out the cast – highlights including Will Arnett and Andrew Daly’s broadcast team of Lou Redwood and Dick Pepperfield, Matt Walsh’s ref and source of major abuse Father Pat, Jackie Earle Haley’s burnout winner of the halftime shooting contest Dukes, and Kristen Wiig as the bear handler. Continue reading