- Snoop Dogg, Tika Sumpter, Mike Epps
- Written by
- Isaac Schamis and Danny Segal, Constance Schwartz-Morini and Snoop Dogg ( bases on a pitch by)
- Directed by
- Charles Stone III
- Run Time
- 1 hr. 36 min.
- Release Date
- January 26th, 2024
It is said everyone loves a good underdog story, but I would bet that whoever the underdog had to overcome are not fans. When it comes to those stories though, I would say most people love them, as it gives you hope at what you can achieve. Movies like Rudy, Hoosiers, and Rocky come to mind, but for me too often we celebrate the victories and not the journey to get there. That is why Rocky and The Bad News Bears stand out for me, because while they didn’t win, you still celebrated what they were able to accomplish. Now joining the cinematic underdog family is The Underdoggs, a story that follows The Bad News Bears game plan, while possibly making you reach for Ralphie’s red bar of soap after.
Jaycen Jennings (Snoop Dogg), or as everyone else knows him “Two Js,” might be one of the best wide receivers to ever play the game of football. There is also little argument that the man is also one of the bigger a-holes you will meet, which has not served him well as his career has ended. Two Js spends his days recording a podcast no one listens to, but after feeling neglected by his agent, an in-person meeting is about to change him. After hitting a bus, Two Js is sentenced to community service, that is mostly picking up dog poop at a local park. It is at that park that he runs into a Pop Warner football team, and while at first they exchange verbal insults at each other, it is when he sees Cherise (Tike Sumpter), an old high school flame, that he decides he should coach this team. Now Two Js didn’t have an epiphany; no, he thought by doing this it would help him score points with Cherise. Little did he know that these kids would get to him, as he sees himself as the kid he was in so many of them.
Written by Isaac Schamis and Denny Segal, based on a pitch from Constance Schwartz-Morini and Snoop Dogg, The Underdoggs follows the inspirational sports movie template to a tee. Where The Underdoggs changes its approach in the words that are said, which would make any sailor’s eyes go big. This could have been disastrous, but instead, the film becomes quite enduring, but parents be warned, I can’t recall a movie that dropped as many F-bombs as this one did.
I am not going to lie, there were at times I thought this movie crossed a line with the amount of profanity that it spewed, but when I thought I was out, it would pull me back in with its heart. The idea sprang from Snoop’s own life, as he started a Football League in 2005 which became quite the success for kids in the Long Beach, CA, area. That though is where the idea came from, what we get is raw non-stop banter, but even those fog of words can’t hide the sincere and simple message the story is trying to tell. Epps is funny as he usually is, and Snoop is, well, Snoop. You know you are in for a ride when the movie opens with a disclaimer, and it might have been needed. Take this movie for what it is, just a fun time at the movies, and don’t judge it solely on its words, but on its actions too.