Uncle Drew review by Bobby Blakey
It’s interesting to see what gets popular enough to become the focus of a feature film. What started out as a series of Pepsi ads and then spawned into a successful five year digital series is now hitting the big screen with Uncle Drew. The film stars Kyrie Irving, Lil Rel Howery, Nick Kroll, Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, Lisa Leslie, Erica Ash and Tiffany Haddish, but does it bring the laughs on the court or will it fail to make the shot?
Uncle Drew follows Dax, who is dealt a series of unfortunate setbacks after draining his life savings to enter a team in the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, including losing his team to his longtime rival. Desperate to win the tournament and the cash prize, Dax stumbles upon the man, the myth, the legend Uncle Drew and convinces him to return to the court one more time. The two men embark on a road trip to round up Drew's old basketball squad and prove that a group of septuagenarians can still win the big one. I am going to be honest going into this film I didn’t expect much more than a trainwreck from the looks of things, but was surprised to find it pretty entertaining.
Prior to getting Uncle Drew and the gang together the film stumbles a bit and had me instantly worried about what we were getting. Thankfully once it introduced Uncle Drew things picked up and the laughs came way more than I anticipated. There is plenty of basketball fun to watch, but the majority of the film is more of a road trip as they travel to pick up his original team. This offers up not only a fun introduction to each of the characters with the most hilarious being that of Preacher played by Chris Webber. This entire church sequence had me rolling especially an argument between him and his wife played by WNBA star Lisa Leslie where they argue completely with scripture verses.
The make-up is hit and miss, but I found myself completely buying into the silliness of these guys and the antics they were getting into. The story is not only funny but brings a lot of heart as Howery searches for more than a team. He leads the charge alongside Irving’s Uncle Drew being a good comedy foil for it all while also anchoring it all together for a fun heartwarming story. As a fan of The Charmichael Show it was great seeing Howery and Haddish back together again as they bounce off each other with great chemistry.
Sure the film is silly and predictable from beginning to end, but it’s one of those films that is just there to entertain and make you smile and it scores points for doing just that.