White Men Can’t Jump review by Bobby Blakey
In 1992 Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson teamed up for the comedy White Men Can’t Jump. For years it was on heavy rotation in my favorite films. When it was announced they were remaking it I was annoyed like most. The reimagining stars Sinqua Walls and Jack Harlow with the 2023 version of House Party director Calmatic at the helm. Could this new take bring anything new to the court or will it miss its shot altogether?
White Men Can’t Jump follows two ballers, opposites who are seemingly miles apart, find they might have more in common than they imagined possible. WE know this story obviously, but they changed it up just enough to where it doesn’t feel like a straight up remake as much as it feels like another film in the series like they’ve done with the House Party and National Lampoon films. That doesn’t mean it’s necessary, but I think does help it to be its own thing a bit even though there are a lot of the elements taken directly from the original film. All that said does the film work? Actually it kind of does but not without its faults.
As I already mentioned I love the original and that is mostly thanks to the team of Snipes and Harrelson. Their chemistry just works to make the film fun and memorable like only they can. This film is similar in story, but different in tone and that helps it to be its own thing instead of just trying to rehash what was done before. I was to compare them, then of course the original reigns supreme, but as its own story and execution I surprisingly enjoyed it.
The cast is fine, but don’t have the same witty banter or comedy execution as the first movie, but not sure they were trying to. This one has the laughs and heart, but really goes in a more dramatic direction than for the comedy. It reminds me
of the twist in story in comparison to Bel-Air in relation to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. It uses a more dramatic back story and ongoing issues to push the story and because of that works to be something more than it had any right to be.
This doesn’t mean that it was a movie that needs to exist, but happy that it at least tried its own thing and delivered. I know some will hate it outright just because of it being a remake or actually a reimagining, but if you let it be what it is without the connection you might actually enjoy what they did. Another plus side is getting to see the late Lance Reddick on screen again, but his role hits way to close to real life and made all the sadder by his untimely passing.
The upside to these kinds of films, if you don’t like them you can still dribble your way right back to the original and play ball on that court. Decide for yourself and check out White Man Can’t Jump streaming now on Hulu.