Movie Review: White Men Can’t Jump

May 3, 2011

To continue the basketball themed movie reviews, the next film I chose was White Men Can’t Jump.

Now I half cheated with this review as I actually saw the first half of this film when I was 11 years old. But I needed to see this film through adult(ish) eyes. Just a word of advice, I will be using the word “hustler” and variations of the word quite a bit during this review. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Here we go.

White Men Can’t Jump is a film about a twenty-something, white chump called billy, played by Woody Harrelson, who moves to California with his Puerto Rican girlfriend on the run from loan sharks with a mission to try and hustle streetball courts for cash to pay the money back. This is where we meet Sidney, played by Wesley Snipes, another hustler but who gets out hustled by Woody’s character.

The two hustlers soon join forces to take on the harsh courts of Southern California to out hustle every other hustler out there on the tarmac courts.

Everyday they’re hustlin’.

Hustlin’ isn’t exactly a dependable income, and so this causes conflicts within their respective relationships. Especially with Billy’s with the Jeopardy obsessed Gloria.

This film is about hustling, money and relationships. Relationships between a man and his girlfriend/wife and money. And a friendship between a white and a black man, and how they play really good bball together.

I would have like to see one more hip hop tunes in there like some ATCQ or DeLaSoul, I can however in hindsight appreciate why this might’ve been done. However if you listen closely, you can hear Sidney playing some Cypress Hill in the car whilst driving Billy home. Plus there are some killer James Brown and Ray Charles tracks in there too.

I like the overall message of this film. That race really takes a back seat in terms of friendship and that working together for the “greater good” is really what should be important.

FAT KIDS RATING: 7 out of 10.
Review by Stuart Daulman.


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