I had little hope for Uncle Drew (2018)
A: the film is a spinoff from a series of Pepsi ads
B: the majority of the cast are professional NBA players with zero acting background.
C: the premise of the film is very simple: an unsuspecting old man, Uncle Drew (played by Boston Celtics Kyrie Irving) is good at basketball.
I expected safe corporate comedy and bad acting but they have managed to pull it off!
Directed by Charles Stone III and written by Jay Longino, the film is about an amateur coach named Dax (Lil Rel Howery), who after a traumatic loss in a school basketball game has vowed never to play again. Financially broke, he is desperate to get a team together and win a major tournament’s cash prize but his team of choice has been poached by his arch enemy Mookie, played by Nick Krolls whose delivery will make you laugh out loud!
As the story goes, Uncle Drew and his teammates were legends on the basketball court but they split up after a feud over a love affair. Dax meets Uncle Drew and convinces him to go on a road trip and round up his old basketball squad. They quickly realise they are not quite in the same shape as they used to be: There is Preacher, who has become a minister (Chris Webber); Lights who is now blind (Reggie Miller), Boots who is in a wheelchair (Nate Robinson), and Big Fella (Shaquille O’Neal) who runs a dojo centre. As Uncle Drew says: ‘Basketball is a game of the mind’ so hope is alive.
UNCLEDREW is in cinemas July 6.
Words by Elizabeth Robert