Review: Semi-Pro

This ordinary, slightly boring comedy is for Will Ferrell fans only.

After millions of underdog sports movies have pummeled us into submission, somebody somewhere thought it would be a brilliantly original idea to make an underdog sports movie. Logic aside, this particular story follows Jackie Moon, a ridiculous man who made a fortune with a hit-single ‘Love Me Sexy’ and with the proceeds bought a basketball team which he decided to captain.

Will Ferrell (The Biggest Comedian In The World™) performs his usual character – the boorish shouting man. But there’s still something appealing about his shameless mugging (a highlight includes him lying forlorn in a dumpster) and he has enough charisma to drag this drab story to the end.

Co-star Woody Harrelson, however, is completely wasted in a useless non-comedic role as a faded ex-sports star. André Benjamin (aside from the hilarious afro) is equally squandered. It’s very telling that of the three characters on the film’s poster, two of them are the straight men.

The laughs are not very original. Wrestling with a bear is just one of the many sequences that you’ll be convinced you’ve seen somewhere before.

The soundtrack includes a good, but not exceptional collection of soul funk hits by the usual suspects – Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Sly and the Family Stone, etc. Production design is impressive, capturing a really colourful slice of the 70s. The cinematography is also pretty slick; this is certainly the best looking comedy in a while.

It’s not a terrible movie, just forgettable. Will Ferrell is great, but he’s beginning to parody himself by starring in increasingly pointless and underwhelming comedies like this one.