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Monday, May 22, 2023

White Men Can't Jump 2023 * Star


2023's White Men Can't Jump is bad, like 5-day-old head cheese bad. It's a remake of a 1992 film (of the same title) yet it doesn't get what made said film so much more superior and beloved. I mean when the only NBA player to make a cameo in "White Men" is the almost forgotten Blake Griffin, you know you're in trouble.

White Men Can't Jump yet again relies on the stale race relations aspect when it comes to b-ball. Thirty years ago it was kinda fresh. Now it seems dated, like we just can't move ahead. The plot of "White Men" is similar to '92's original in which two promising basketball players work out their differences in background to try to win some 3-on-3 tourney for lots of moolah. Sinqua Walls plays the poor man's Wesley Snipes while Jack Harlow plays the poor man's Woody Harrelson. Their characters are nails-on-a-chalkboard unlikable, their bond mawkish rather than hard-nosed, their dialogue readings mumbled and jumbled. Did I care if they won in the end? Uh, not really.

Topping out at 101 minutes and directed by the same guy who was responsible for the House Party remake (makes sense seeing that both are stinkers), White Men Can't Jump doesn't even get the title right because in '92 it was all about whether Woody could dunk or not. Now we have this uninspired, dog of a movie where there's no wit, charm, or actual epiphany moment to speak of. "White Men's" helmer (Calmatic) provides scenes with little payoff and his basketball hustling clips are almost pedestrian, like they were cut too quickly.

Watching White Men Can't Jump, you wish Ron Shelton could've came out of retirement to become a consultant on this thing. In the post-Cold War decade, he waxed philosophically and ironically, his ear for catchy discourse and his eye for authentic roundball leavings made the first "White Men" a solid box office hit. This new reboot, well it's just a veritable "airball".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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