Film ó Rebound (PG)


By Amy Diaz

Martin Lawrence plays yet another self-centered man who learns an important lesson by coaching a group of ragamuffin but good-hearted kids in Rebound.

What I find strangest about this movie is that it comes out a mere three weeks before the remake of Bad News Bears, the ultimate kids-and-sports movie. Rebound is essentially the Bad News Basketball-Playing Bears but with a less appealing adult lead and children who are barely even one-dimensional, forget fully fleshed-out characters.

Roy McCormick (Martin Lawrence) is a college basketball coach far more interested in furthering his own image than his team or the sport. His hot-headedness gets him bounced not only from a game but from coaching all together. His agent Fink (Breken Meyer) comes up with a good PR scheme: Roy should coach his old junior high school basketball team. The students, who tend to lose by 100 or more points, are delighted at first to receive attention from a man they believe will make them better. But first, Roy has to go through the necessary get-over-himself humbling and hold the traditional recruitment of ringers ó including a tall kid (Christopher Parker) and a tough girl (Tara Correa). And, of course, for every team on the skids, there is a single mom who can provide that little extra bit of motivation for the coach.

Rebound is bad, cheap and silly. In a year when the traditional sports formula is playing itself out with charm and originality in documentaries such as Mad Hot Ballroom and Murderball, it is completely unnecessary to see that tired formula used again in a fiction movie. What does this give us that we didnít already get from, say, The Mighty Ducks?

Martin Lawrence isnít bad and the movie isnít so much painful as it is flat and useless like a punctured basketball.

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