Semi-Pro (2008) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

The last and best of the Will Ferrell sports comedies. This one a hilarious spot-on send up of the 1970’s American Basketball Association (A.B.A) and the disco era in general. Ferrell is one-hit wonder Jackie Moon, owner of the Detroit franchise, Flint Tropics. He’s also the team’s coach and worst player. Straddled with a losing record, a prima- dona, and a fading star, the tropics must fight for survival in a league collapsing due to a forthcoming merger with the NBA. The story is a silly excuse for some of the most giggle inducing scenes in recent years. Highlights are the ‘Wrestling Bear’ night, and a poker game that goes hysterically awry. Some prefer the pg-13 antics of ‘Talledega Nights’, but the ‘R’ rating lets Ferrell rip lose with unrestricted abandonment. As in a scene in which Jackie melts down during a board meeting.

Andre Benjamin does a nice job with the role of egotistical turncoat ‘Coffee’ Black, a reference to blaxploitation heroes of 70’s cinema. Woody Harrelson is wasted and seems slightly lost, but maybe that because he’s upstaged by comedic talents like Will Arnett, Ferrell, and others. The best comedy in the Will Ferrell Cannon. Film earns its ‘R’ rating.

Director: Kent Alterman
Stars: Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, André Benjamin

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