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It's a shame when a movie tries so hard to be funny but no one laughs
at it. I went seeing this with expecting for a couple hours of light,
predictable and forgettable fun, but instead of that I got a pointless
sitcom that fails miserably at being funny or dramatic.
The main problem with Rebound is that it never comes together; it's that kind of movie that is sorta made by two directors with opposite purposes: light-hearted humor and deep thoughtful drama. So, the whole film is like a struggle between these two visions, and none comes to win. Unfortunately, viewers become the great losers with all this mess.
Megan Mullaly makes a good job of her role, though Martin Lawrence looks uncomfortable and overwhelmed by his. I have read some good reviews about Lawrence's performance, but I have to disagree on that one. I think that this is one of his worst performances, totally unfunny or whatsoever.
For those who defend this film saying that is a kid's movie, I should defend children's rights to have intelligent options, like Pixar and Dreamworks had been doing lately. There is no excuse for showing dull and naive movies only because "it's for the children"...
Too many critics seem to be expecting more from "Rebound" than it tries
to offer. This movie is what it is - a simplistic, fun family movie
aimed at kids - nothing more, nothing less. The filmmakers weren't
trying to create "Casablanca 2" here. As a family movie, it succeeds at
producing enough laughs to entertain the kids and keep adults from
getting too bored.
There are certainly elements in the movie that could've been better. It's WAY too formulaic and predictable, the scores in the games before Coach Roy arrive are totally unrealistic, and quite frankly, there are several actors who would've been funnier in the role than Lawrence. But the kids are very well cast, and do a real good job with the material they're given. There are many genuinely funny bits, and Megan Mullally is an absolute hoot in her role, which was far too small.
So if you're looking for the next great cinematic classic, keep looking. But if you want a fun family movie that's suitable for the kids, check out "Rebound."
The filmmakers in Rebound diligently stick to the prescribed "kids
sports movie" formula, and desperately hope that Martin Lawrence
provides a flicker of spunk.
I can't give Rebound more than two stars, not because it was necessarily bad, but because it was painfully predictable. It dares not stray from the tired but true progression of, "a small team of misfits is matched up with a reluctant savior, who inevitably leads the team to victory only after learning a valuable lesson." In this case, the reluctant coach, Roy McCormick, is played by Martin Lawrence, who attempts to single-handedly provide some unique quality to this film in order to distinguish it from all other kid movies. He fails.
Roy McCormick is a hotshot college basketball coach with an outrageous temper and passion for endorsement deals. The audience is repeatedly shown how out of touch with basketball Coach Roy has become by showing many examples of his advertisements, his flashy car, his expensive suits, etc. We are even treated to the routine clips from "The Best Damn Sports Show," where Tom Arnold proclaims that Coach Roy is losing it. After we have firmly established that Roy is in fact out of touch already, we get the inevitable temper tantrum that results in his expulsion from the league. Coach Roy then reluctantly agrees to coach a struggling junior high basketball team. This brilliant plan will supposedly help him rebuild his reputation, thereby allowing him to gain readmittance to the league. Because apparently, the best way to gain credibility as a basketball coach is to instruct reject junior high kids, at which point one will just be rolling in offers from the NBA.
We watch as Coach Roy methodically teaches the kids how to play basketball, one skill at a time, through a series of over-dramatic techniques. He brings in a weird hoodlum preacher who is not funny at all and looks suspiciously like Martin Lawrence dressed up as a hoodlum preacher. He scours the student body for a very tall kid who is also clumsy in a humorous way. He also recruits a large girl to the team, as she is Susie-Likes-to-Fight, and Roy thinks that if things get rough, he can always channel his inner John Chaney and send her out to pummel someone. The audience laughs because she's a girl! Haha, get itshe's a girl! And all the while, goofy and upbeat music plays helpfully in the background, reminding us that this is a stupid kid's movie.
There's the romance factor of course, with Coach Roy trying to get a date with one kid's mom. There's also the slapstick assistant coach (played by SNL cast member Horatio Sanz), who bumbles around hoping to provide supplemental humor when basketballs slip out of his grasp and fly in all directions; there's the overzealous opposing coach who thinks junior high school basketball is as important as college or NBA--but then again, can you really blame the guy? After all, the film has already established that coaching junior high school basketball is a direct path to the big leagues.
Needless to say, this movie is tiresomely predictable, but not necessarily bad. I know that kids will like it, so I would recommend it as a very family-friendly movie. It definitely has the "cute factor," in that sense, but those of us who are not 13 may not see the same value in Rebound.
If Hollywood wants to know why theater attendance is off they need look
no further than this movie. The problem is not they are making bad
movies, they're simply making movies you feel ripped off for having
paid ten bucks to see. Once you get over the shock that you've paid too
much for what you're seeing, Rebound is actually a good little movie.
Rebound tells the story of Coach Ray, a highly paid NCAA basketball coach who ends up banned from coaching for bad behavior. With no other options open to him he ends up coaching back at his old junior high school where things take mostly predictable, but enjoyable turns. For example the team is so bad at basketball it hasn't won a game in twelve years, and is made up of the typical assortment of kids who don't know left from right, so even though you know whats going to happen but you don't mind because Lawrence and the kids are fun to watch. And while it strives and fails to be a Bad News Bears of basketball, it is an enjoyable movie on its own terms. Just wait for DVD or cable, because paying 10 bucks a head to see this will spoil your enjoyment of whats a nice funny little movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I always felt that the problem with Martin Lawrence movies is that the
scripts always limit all of the raunchiness and outrageous humor that
makes Martin Lawrence funny. Bad Boys I is probably the only movie that
parallels the comic potential that you can find in Lawrence's stand-up
acts. Otherwise, the moviegoer will only see a fraction of the
I walked into the theater expecting to see another terrible Martin Lawrence movie, but I was surprised that this film was somewhat enjoyable. Being rated PG, Rebound checks Lawrence's ability to offend through his usual graphic language, but Lawrence actually shows that he can be funny and gentle at the same time, relying on easygoing charm and witty dialogue to appease the audience. One of the prime examples of this is a scene where he is teaching a kid not to be a ball hog on the court. He makes his point in a way that is charming, smart, and funny. Another scene is where Lawrence plays a secondary character, a street preacher who gives the middle schoolers a pep talk before a big game. A similar scene was used in Blue Streak, but unlike in that movie, this scene works, mainly because the audience gets to see an unsuspecting, straight-laced Martin react to a more sketchier version of himself. It's a clever device that is guaranteed to generate some laughter. So why did I give this movie only five stars? The problem falls mainly with Rebound's poorly-written script.
Martin Lawrence stars as a once great college basketball coach, whose short temper causes him to be kicked out of the league. In order to redeem himself, he takes up a coaching job at his old middle school to prove to the NCBA that he is not only as good of a coach as he was in his prime but a charitable one as well. The school's team is a group of misfits that can never seem to score a single basket in any of the games they play. Will Lawrence bring the team to victory? While the premise is promising, the delivery is weak and lacking substance. Lawrence is supposed to be a Bobby Knight-type coach and seeing him throw tantrums in the Martin Lawrence style we all know and love would have been hilarious to see. But the problem is that we rarely see Lawrence carry this angry persona. In fact, his so-called emotional outburst appears accidental when he kicks a ball at the opposing team's mascot. Is this reason enough to expel him from the league? Aside from this err in the plot, the rest of the movie feels a bit rushed. Every time a scene begins to ascend in humor, it abruptly ends and goes onto another scene. As a result, Lawrence wins the trust of the middle schoolers too quickly, he brings the underdogs onto a winning streak too quickly, he decides that he loves coaching middle school too quickly. Plus, Lawrence wins the heart of one of the kid's mother ALL TOO QUICKLY! Better pacing along with a couple of twists would have made for a better film.
Aside from Lawrence's strong performance, Rebound's young cast delivers as well. The chemistry between Lawrence and the kids is great, and their characters are well-developed. However, the rest of the adult cast feels wasted. Patrick Warburton puts in a lot of energy in his performance but he doesn't have anyone to play off. Megan Mullally is hilarious as the sarcastic school principal but she seems to vanish halfway through the film. I felt that Rebound would have benefited from more interplay between her and Lawrence. Seeing these two wacky comedians bump heads would have been fun to see. Breckin Meyer does a decent job as Coach Roy's shrewd agent, but you get the feeling that he probably has something better to do. Wendy Raquel Robinson is a suitable love interest for Martin and does her job well. But as stated before, her character falls for Martin a little too fast to be truly believable. Sadly, Horatio Sanz is given very little to do.
Overall, this movie was decent and provided some great insights on learning to work with others cooperatively despite personal differences. Everything else feels a bit forced and redundant. Martin Lawrence proves that he has a superb screen presence and broad comic appeal but it will take more than this poorly written piece for him to rebound and get back into the game.
College basketball coach Roy McCormick is almost banned for life due to
his aggressive behavior, but as his agent finds a clause in the rules
that he must have another chance first, he ends up training a middle
school team, the Mount Vernon Junior High School Smelters. As those
movies go, after a few confrontations everyone works together to become
champions. Add a love interest for the coach and some diversity in the
characters of the team.
One of the more funny scenes involves shy Wes and over-assertive Big Mac (this time not meant as a product placement I hope) ending up in a romance. Another thing well done is the way the coach instructs his team. Like in Coach Carter he takes time to learn the middle school team about passing, communication and rebounding. Martin Lawrence tries hard but lacks the comedy skills Eddie Murphy has. He even plays more than one character like Murphy did in Coming to America.
Most Hollywood movies only get a bad treatment just because they are made in Hollywood. But Rebound gives those Hollywood-haters exactly the ammo they wish, as it is the kind of formulaic movie that has not a shred of intelligent writing, storytelling, directing or acting to be fond of (and being a kid's movie is not an excuse for that). The story has been told so many times that Rebound is boring to the extreme, as there is total predictability.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The plot to Rebound has been done so many times. It's one of those
films you know what will happen and when it will happen. You know in
the end everything will work out after the main character has learned
his lesson and decided to do the right thing.
In this case, Martin Lawrence plays a superstar college basketball coach, Roy, who gets banned from the NCAA for killing a mascot, a bird. The only job he can get is at a junior high. The team he's coaching haven't won a game in years. After getting to know the kids and plus finding out if he can start winning he'll be let back in the NCAA, Coach Roy decides to take the job seriously. Of course, one of the kids has a hot mom he pursues. Like a kids movie like this even needs a love interest.
So he takes a team that loses by over 100 and they start winning. He enjoys what he's doing. Then he gets the offer to back to college coaching. Of course, now he's this new guy and fame and money aren't everything. So unbelievable he turns down the job to continue to coach at a junior high. That's silly.
FINAL VERDICT: Overdone script. Not that funny. I'd say this movie is only for kids into sports.
Main Stars: Martin Lawrence Oren Williams
Martin Lawrence definitely brought the laughs in this movie. There were other people that were funny but mainly Martin Lawrence was. This movie is all about basketball and barely anything else. Roy McCormick (Martin Lawrence) gets fired from coaching college basketball because of his maniacal temper tantrums. Now he has to coach 13 year old kids in a middle school. At first, it was bad for Roy but then he became more patient and better to the kids. It's difficult to explain why I liked this movie but it was just funny and I really was into it for some reason. Movie directed by Steve Carr.
The story has been done many times before, it is very predictable. Martin Lawrence adds a lot of funny moments, actually the whole movie is a great comedy. It is also a mood lifter, great for kids, many lessons about winning and loosing. Any one can be a winner, is one lesson. It is also a great lesson in leadership for adults, it is the leader who make superstars out of average individuals. How many famous people today are only successful because of their manager or their coach? may be people should leave a bad leader and move on. Of course, the main character self destructs because of arrogance, he hits rock bottom, but then he was able to go back to what made him successful the first place and he was able to enjoy the challenge again and enjoy life: no luck here, just a formula. Yes I liked this movie despite the mediocre acting and the predictable story, I thought a lot of people will too because they will be able to relate to one or more of its characters
Rebound is a film where its prefix "re" can apply to a lot of
adjectives used to describe the quality of the final product. For one,
it's a retread of a formula that needs some reworking, and it's gotten
to the point where the film industry should reconsider this
unattractive and wholly uninteresting formula be retired.
But why bother retiring a successful formula? Even though Rebound was a pretty hefty financial failure, the demand for these kinds of cheery, harmless family films is quite high. For one, they are the best kinds of babysitters, for they keep the little ones marginally silent for an hour or two and don't need much explaining, and secondly, they are so innocuous to the point where very few, if any, jokes, innuendos, or references need be explained. These kinds of films bathe in their own clichés, and usually drag the leading actor or actress down with their lackluster conduct.
Rebound is unfortunately not an exception; it's a miserably safe affair, so much so that the jokes feel like they were rewritten a few times over in act of screen writing desensitization to make sure nothing dirty snuck through. You know the plot by simply looking at the film's poster, so there's not much purpose in reiterating its contents. Martin Lawrence plays Coach Roy McCormick, a once respected and dignified college basketball coach turned endorsement-mongering sellout, who gets kicked to the curb by the NCBA after his latest episode involves the death of the opposing team's mascot's pet bird, McCormick's manager (Breckin Meyer) is now scrambling to find McCormick some sort of coaching opportunity to which he responds to a request for a rag-tag, middle school basketball team by the name of the Mount Vernon Smelters, who haven't won a game in years, much to the principal's (Horatio Sanz) dismay. McCormick does the gig for free to show that he is in it for the kids and the love of the game, and it becomes unsurprising when we see McCormick actually develop a love and appreciation for the students of Mount Vernon Junior High School, in true, predictable film fashion.
Even after summarizing the basic idea of the plot, the mean-spirit of the film's leading character just sticks out to me more. Here we have another leading male in a film who we are supposed to resonate with and support after he throws a colossal temper-tantrum and is passive-aggressive to a group of misfit tweens he is now forced to coach. If it wasn't the attitude on our lead character that was such a deal breaker to this film, the abundance of indifference is the nail in the coffin. Now, predictability doesn't always have to be a bad thing, for just because you predicted the ending or a certain plot-twist to a film shouldn't corrupt the surrounding elements of a movie entirely. However, when a film is erected from the ground-up on what seems to be nothing more than petty formula is when this becomes my main complaint.
Rebound is one of those films; a film so content on striving for mediocrity that it manages to be almost instantaneously forgettable all around. Further mix in elements that come directly from The Bad News Bears to the point of almost being classifiable as a rip-off or plagiarism, to not developing any of the children Coach McCormick is sent to coach, and seal the deal with grating sentimentality at the end and you have the recipe for a disastrous and unsubstantial family affair. With the wealth of invaluable film entertainment geared towards families made only more readily accessible by Netflix and other streaming services, you'd be beyond foolish to settle for the incorrigible rehash that is Rebound.
Starring: Martin Lawrence, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Breckin Meyer. Directed by: Steve Carr.
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