By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Well, at least the underdog formula has gotten so tight that we can wrap these things up in under 90 minutes. The Longshots is perfectly fine for a crowd-pleasing, inoffensive formula movie for the whole family.
Review: The Longshots
It opens with your average feuding between headstrong little Jasmine Plummer (Keke Palmer) and her reluctant guardian uncle (Ice Cube). He's a hard luck loser who dreams of big things, but when they start playing football together, magic happens.
At first Jasmine is disinterested in her natural talent, but as her uncle teaches her, they bond in touching moments. He uses unconventional training methods like Rocky on the field. The low budget techniques give her a good, sweaty workout, and teaching her footwork by dance video games is hip, even though she's not mimicking the screen at all.
The football scenes are really good. I mean, I understand what's happening on the field, so that's good. I can tell when someone is going one way on purpose and she's throwing the ball in that direction.
It's no big surprise to me that Fred Durst can direct. I don't know anything about Limp Bizkit except for "Rollin" but lots of people can do two things. Why not make a simple sports movie?
The jokes are weak, but kids seem to like them. If shushing each other is funny, that's the humor of The Longshots. Oh, also if you think homeless people's dwellings are hilarious, it's in there. Jasmine putting on the uniform is cute, and a shot to the crotch is always gold.
The white bullies are pretty uncreative. I mean, they associate Plummer with plumber. Jasmine should be able to eat them for breakfast, but this is only for two scenes before they "gradually" accept her, and by gradually I mean instantly.
The triumph over adversity doesn't take long at all. She needs team acceptance, she gets it. They need to raise money, they do it. Even the Super Bowl has no buildup. That's fine with me. Keep it brief and to the point. I already know where it's going anyway.
The only thing that really bothered me in this movie was all the clapping. Not just football crowds, but characters just clap to get ready or to pass the time. It becomes a really irritating noise.
The Longshots is the crowd pleaser of the summer. It's simple, there should be no expectations, it's got warm family values and it shows kids they can accomplish anything. Yay.