Arts

Semi-Pro

It seems like movie-goers just can’t get enough of Will Ferrell. A new “Ferrell comedy” comes out every year, and, within days, you’re left hearing your peers quoting every line, which are often more obnoxious than smart. However, no one can deny that his movies are massive money-makers. So, Hollywood will continue to push out one of these comedies each year until we get sick of them. Directed by Kent Alterman, “Semi-Pro” is the latest in the series of Will Ferrell movies. In the 1970’s, Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell) is the owner/coach/player of the pathetic Flint Michigan Tropics basketball team. Jackie has devoted his life to the team, hoping to honor his deceased mother. However, when the American Basketball Association decides to merge with the National Basketball Association, Jackie discovers that only the top four teams will continue to play. Considering the fact that the Tropics have a horrible record, Jackie’s team is faced with the devastating prospect of closing down. Just then, the rebellious Monix (Woody Harrelson) joins the team and begins to whip the boys into shape. And, while Jackie tries to bring more fans into the stadium with crazy promotion schemes, Monix tries to reclaim his lost love by showing off his impressive basketball skills. Previous sports comedies like “Talladega Nights” and “Blades of Glory” tried to bring the crazy, random humor of Will Ferrell to athletics. However, their quirkiness ultimately killed their appeal. Unfortunately, “Semi-Pro” continues this trend with its bad humor and shallow plot. In this trio of horrendous comedies, “Semi-Pro” sticks out as a new low for Ferrell and Co. “Semi-Pro’s” fun, unique soundtrack is filled with 70’s hits. This music, along with Jackie Moon’s own “Love Me Sexy,” gives the entire movie a great ambiance. In fact, one of the film’s greatest aspects is its setting in the 70’s. For example, as Jackie does all of his weird stunts, a fitting, sometimes ironic song plays in the background. Unlike the rest of the film, it isn’t annoying. In fact, the music fits in so well that the soundtrack is more enjoyable than the movie itself. However, a soundtrack can’t pull a movie through and nobody’s going to see “Semi-Pro” just for its soundtrack. Furthermore, the humor is repetitive. Borrowed entirely from “Blades of Glory” and “Talladega Nights,” the jokes are only sometimes funny. The script relies too heavily on randomly strange scenes that don’t contribute to the plot. It seems as if the entire movie is a compilation of short clips that were funny by themselves but lack cohesion together. “Semi-Pro” provides few genuine laughs, but, most of the time it’s just laughably bad. Of course, “Semi-Pro” has a stereotypical, sports-themed plot. And, while it can get tiresome watching the same come-from-behind victories over and over again, it’s usually very entertaining. However, “Semi-Pro” lacks a strong plot device to push it forward. Jackie’s need to get into the NBA and Monix’s yearning for his old girlfriend are made completely insignificant; the movie fails to provide any impetus to keep you watching. The “plot” is a mere casing to deliver an hour and a half of “Ferrell” craziness. And don’t be mistaken; it really is all about Ferrell. It would have been great to get to know the other characters better, but, knowing where the money was, Alterman focused the film on Ferrell and it quickly became boring. Had some energy been taken away from Ferrell and appropriated to developing the plot, “Semi-Pro” might have been bearable. “Semi-Pro” is just another annoying sports comedy that’s worth a laugh and nothing more. It’s been done many times before and you’d be hard-pressed to find something worthwhile in it. Quite simply, “Semi-Pro” isn’t worth the time or effort to watch it. Grade: 1+