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Review: White Men Can't Jump
Play Hard. Hustle Harder.
Seemingly opposite street hoopers, Jeremy, an injury-prone former star, and Kamal, a has-been prodigy, team up to take one final shot at living out their dreams.
Sequels, remakes, and spinoffs have been with us since the early days of cinema, but these days they really seem to be all the rage. And we have a new one as for whatever reason Disney green-lit a remake to 1992’s White Men Can’t Jump as a straight to Hulu release; and even had the Director behind the earlier-from-the-year House Party remake helm it. But its much less a remake a much more a complete re-imagining of the entire concept of hustling street ballers for money.
Big fans of the original might find this movie more frustrating than entertaining. Elements from the source material are still there but the motivations, backgrounds, character arcs, and even the friendship between our two leads play out completely different - even character names are changed. If the ‘92 cult classic is one of your absolute favorites, I warn you that you’re likely to be let down.
However for those who are open to something completely new, I did find this movie to be just enjoyable enough. I found the jokes to land more than not - even getting me to laugh out loud more than once. The character motivations and their arcs are well written even if it starts to get too “happily ever after” towards the end. The movie’s biggest strength comes from the chemistry between our two leads in Sinqua Walls as Kamal, and a surprisingly good debut from rapper Jack Harlow as Jeremy. Quite frankly I bought the budding friendship between these two in this better than I did in the original!
I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up having very mixed reviews, and I wonder how much all the changes made will affect how the original film’s fans will view this as; but for my part I enjoyed 2023’s version of White Men Can’t Jump much more than I expected to. But it doesn’t detract from the fact its still a simple and cheap cash-grab “remake” that will probably not be well remembered by year’s end. I’d give this about what I give the 1992 classic, an okay grade of B-.