Sunday, July 11, 2010

White Men Can't Jump

White Men Can't Jump; Drama, USA, 1992; D: Ron Shelton, S: Woody Harrelson, Wesley Snipes, Rosie Perez, Tyra Ferrell

White man Billy exploits the superficial prejudice that "white men can't jump" to cash in playing basketball in various bets. His partner is African-American Sidney, a family man with a daughter. They manage to play basketball on the streets with other opponents and win, also winning the bet. One day, though, they lose everything in one game, Sidney's apartment is robbed while Billy's girlfriend Gloria shows up in a TV Quiz and wins. In the end, they make up again.

Sports drama "White Men Can't Jump" is a well constructed and written film, whereas in the first (and better half) the basketball scenes as well as the dialogues are genius. A lot of fun, however, is lost towards the end when dramatic and (too) serious moments enter the sphere of pretentiousness, wherein the two main protagonists managed to overcome the antipathy despite the constant arguments, but not their clampy behavior. The actors are all great, yet alas, as with most basketball films, its enjoyment value depends a lot if the viewers enjoy basketball. As a whole, it is another good sports film by sports master director Ron Shelton, a darkly realistic, fast, modern and energetic adventure that manages to seize the attention.


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