Uncle Drew

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Wick's Review

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Created Jul 06, 2018 11:41PM PST • Edited Jul 12, 2018 10:26AM PST

  1. Quality Help-l
  2. Great 4.0

    Uncle Drew has great timing, both when it hit theaters and how it rolls its comedy. It premiered on-time and on-target: three weeks after the NBA playoffs concluded, just as my basketball jones started to kick in. Plus, it’s populated with proven NBA superstars, including Shaquille O’Neal, America’s lovably gruff giant. Best of all, it’s got great comedic timing, without which it wouldn’t be such a high scoring LOLfest.

    Sure it began as a Pepsi commercial. Hell, Johnny Depp’s Pirates of the Caribbean started as a park ride. Not a lark, Uncle Drew plays its own game, with real acting, real soul, real skills and real laughs, for real.

    A satire, the more hoops history you know, the more the LOLs are sure to follow. Shaq to Kyrie as Uncle Drew: “PASS THE BALL, KOBE!” As a complete satire, it touches every hoop dream, good and bad, fantasy and fiasco, from the court to the club. Hence, it’s funnier the more basketball movies you’ve seen.

    Bottom Line
    Uncle Drew, Preacher, Lights, Boots, Big Fella and Betty Lou might be old, but they still got mighty game. Let’s hope they keep it going on for a sequel. I’ll be jonesing for Uncle Drew II by next year – for sure.

  3. Great 4.0

    Lil Rel Howery carries the movie as Dax, a streetball team manager who gets let-down by his team and his girl. Lil Rel is a consummate comedian who well plays getting dumped on yet keeping his cool, and getting laughs. He stood out in Get Out, now this. Ashton Tyler plays the baller as a boy.

    Kyrie Irving slows his roll to play streetball legend Uncle Drew, except when he hoops. Then he becomes Kyrie the Finals legend, one of the very best ballers playing in today’s superhuman NBA. Dude can act.

    Great Supporting Cast – so important to a successful comedy

    • Tiffany Haddish, who jumped offscreen in Key & Peele’s Keanu, jolts Uncle Drew with a bolt of crazy sexy comedic energy as Dax’s manipulative girlfriend.
    • Nick Kroll plays obnoxious well as Dax’s longtime rival.
    • Shaquille O’Neal is funny as hell playing Big Fella.
    • Chris Webber ties Kyrie for NBA Acting Honors as Preacher, one of Drew’s former teammates.
    • Reggie Miller acquits himself well as Lights, another former teammate.
    • Nate Robinson rounds out the old school starting 5.
    • Lisa Leslie well plays Betty Lou, Preacher’s wife and a pretty great baller herself.
    • Erica Ash is perfectly adorable as the love interest.
    • J.B. Smoove & Mike Epps move the comedy along in the barber shop and peanut gallery.
    • Aaron Gordon looks like the baller from central casting as the evocatively named Casper.
  4. Male Stars Great 4.0
  5. Female Stars Really Great 4.5
  6. Female Costars Great 4.0
  7. Male Costars Really Great 4.5
  8. Very Good 3.5

    Kyrie Irving gets enormous credit for creating the original Uncle Drew concept, character and short films. They were elaborate product placement vehicles for Pepsi that transcend their frankly commercial origin. Art from commerce was the result. The Uncle Drew feature film recasts several parts, adds others and also adds a real albeit thin plot, with lots of LOLs, and then takes everything to a big budget level.

  9. Direction Very Good 3.5
  10. Play Very Good 3.5
  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Great 4.0
  13. Content Help-l
  14. Risqué 2.0
  15. Sex Titillating 1.6
  16. Violence Fierce 1.9
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.4
  18. Surreal 2.2

    Uncle Drew’s somewhat supernatural conceit has senior citizens playing like primetime NBAers.

    Cinematic hijinks aside, Uncle Drew features blacks and whites in conflict over basketball and women, not race or privilege or any other bullshit. In that way, it’s the kind of movie we need in America right now.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 2.0
  20. Biological Supernatural 3.1
  21. Physical Glib 1.5

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