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The National Basketball Association play-offs are taking place, and the Boston Celtics are facing the Utah Jazz in a crucial series. This is also the last year that any games will be played in the Boston Garden, which is going to be torn down after the end of the season. Mike and Jimmy, two die-hard sports fans who will risk anything for the Celtics to win, are really getting into the games. The Celtics would be a sure win if it weren't for Lewis Scott, the cocky, loud-mouth star of the Jazz. After Scott himself punishes the Celtics in a bad loss, Mike and Jimmy decide to take things into their own hands by kidnapping Scott and holding him until after the crucial game takes place. Written by
Amusing and a nice idea somewhere inside Celtic Pride is a better film trying to get out
It's game 6 of the NBA playoffs with the Celtics 3-2 up against the Utah Jazz and seemingly about to win the title on their home court in Boston. Lifelong fans Mike O'Hara and Jimmy Flaherty may have personal problems but these are put in perspective opposite the dream of catching the title. However Utah's best player, Lewis Scott, is carrying the team and responsible for most of their points. When he destroys the Celtics in game 6, things look bleak. Bumping into him in a bar later that night, Mike and Jimmy plan to get him so drunk he'll still he weak in several days time when game 7 is played. However when they wake up beside him the next morning they kidnap him and plan to hold him until after game 7 has passed. However things are harder than they imagined.
Being a basketball fan I'll give anything that involves the game a try, whether it is more serious films like Blue Chips and He Got Game or comedies like this or Eddie. This film had potential and, opening with a funny sequence where Mike fails to pass on his passion to his students, it looked like it was going to be good. The plot is filled out by poking fun at the excessive sports fans and also taking a more serious look from the point of view of the players themselves (as represented by Scott). However, where things fall down a little is in the delivery.
Marketed as a `wacky' comedy of sorts, the film wants to be that (hence the presence of Aykroyd and Stern) but this means that the more interesting side of the film is ignored and allowed to fall into disrepair (before finally collapsing in the final `7 months later' shot). As a comedy it is entertaining without ever being very funny I didn't laugh out loud very often but I found it passable and light hearted. It never really gets any better than that sadly, but I felt that this lack of consistent laughs could have been covered if the darker side of the fan/player relationship had been brought out more.
Unfortunately this side slides for the whole of the film until nothing of interest is really left. There are imaginative touches that suggest a better film, but overall the lack of an effective dramatic streak to the film (no matter how secondary it would have been) is a problem. Without it the plot seems trivial and makes it harder to hold the audience's interest. This isn't helped by the fact that the film feels quite cheap and quickly put together. This is shown throughout the film but is clearest in it's portrayal of the basketball action. I wasn't expecting them to have the feel of a big stadium or have total realism, but the games are such a joke (in terms the play) that it made me realise how little effort was put into some aspects of the film.
The cast is OK but the names suggest that a more `zany' comedy was expected to be the outcome of this film. Aykroyd plays a lesser role but has some good dream sequences, Stern is left to lead the film and he appears to lack the confidence to do it well. Wayans is the real star here which is a worrying thing. His character is the strongest and also has the most to say as he is not just a comedy figure in the way the other two are. He leads well and is actually OK but his basketball scenes are poor. For He Got Game, Ray Allen coached Washington so he'd look the part, it appears no-one saw the need for that approach here.
Overall this is a wacky comedy with few laughs. Because it seems to favour the `zany' knockabout side of it's nature, it neglects the darker more interesting side and suffers as a result. This film never made it to the cinema in the UK and barely made an impact on video there are reasons for this.
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