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Compelling street update of classic "Clue" whodunit
For an extremely low-budget flick this work has all the elements of a mini-masterpiece. With two different sub-plots working together we watch how a typical game of basketball evolves into a murder-mystery and life altering experience. At first dismissing as another typical straight to video "hood flick" I appreciated the direction it took with using the basketball court as a way to work out internal family and neighborhood problems. In the mix was two divided brothers (one an aspiring lawyer- comes in handy! - the other an aspiring thug!), a wayward violent cousin, an older man (veteran actor Sy Richardson), a tomboy girl (butt of female jokes), a loser, a comedian friend, and a down white boy with ball skills (core of racial tension).
Everybody brings their elements to the table when after a heated game of basketball, money becomes missing then the main propagandist on the court winds up a poster icon for "stop the violence". Things build quickly, violence ensues and in "Clue" whodunit style fingers start flying all directions. Now the trick here is the basketball COURT ends up a makeshift justice COURT of peers. Justice will be served but the questions of who, what, where, when, and why must be answered under a tense barrage of Q & A.
Imagine the butler, candlestick maker etc. etc. chillin' in the hood when things went down? That's the Playerz Court! Flaws I felt were a little too heavy handed tension giving to the racial element. While these stereotypes do figure in unfortunately in everyday environments they were drawn out a little too much in the building of the film. Tension could have been evenly divided with the competitive sports element that athletes inhale off of. Also I believe to keep the dialogue going there was way to much unnecessary bickering that distracted from the overall flow. Some MTV-style shooting was annoying as well.
A few flaws aside this movie will keep you gripped with nary a slow moment. I keep imagining the potential the burgeoning makers of the film could have had with a larger budget! I definitely recommend checking out this captivating film!
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