Inspiration for the next film you might see at your local theater is lately coming from all over the place. Everything from action figures to board games, there is a story in there for someone to tell no matter where the idea originates. That means everything is a source and that no idea is too crazy to be made into a movie. For me we might have come to a point where we need to look at what we are trying to stretch into a longer stories, because not everything needs to made into a movie.
If you are not familiar with the commercials, Uncle Drew is an old guy who got some skills on the basketball court. Drew (Kyrie Irving) was the best of the best on the playground in New York City. When something happens Drew goes missing only to become a story people would tell each other on the court, a legend in the making. Some forty plus years later Dax (Lil Rel Howery) is trying to become a legend as well as he tries to win the Rucker’s Classic street ball tournament, but his past keeps getting in the way. That past has a name and it’s Mookie (Nick Kroll) a guy who as a kid crushed Dax’s dream for greatness and who keeps finding ways to continue to disrupt his life. After Mookie steals Dax’s team, he is once again left wanting, when he is told about the greatness that is Uncle Drew. Fate is finally on Dax’s side as he runs into Drew and convinces him to play in the tournament, Drew agrees on one condition, that his team uses his squad. So Drew and Dax climb aboard Drew’s van and make the trip to assemble the aging ballers, so they can run it back one more time and show these youngblood’s how the game should be played.
Taking a series of commercials and turning it in to a feature film may sound like a good idea to someone, but not to me. I felt everything that needed to be said with the Uncle Drew commercials was already covered, so maybe we didn’t need to keep going with it. Writer Jay Longino felt differently and I can respect that, I mean just make it fun and who cares about anything else. Well I am here to say they failed at the one thing they needed to make this work. As you might as well put “fun” on the back of a milk carton because it’s missing from this film. Where you expect buckets, you are left instead with the equivalent of Shaq at the free-throw line, which isn’t good for a movie involving basketball. Every joke felt like the worst take and in a movie filled with basketball greats even that was subpar. This was painful for me to get through, but I will say when you get to the outtakes, that might be the best part of the movie. This movie is not good, and while the commercials were entertaining they should have left it there, because as Uncle Drew says “ you never miss the shots you don’t take”, I wish this was one shot that was never taken.