In 2002, two rival Olympic ice skaters were stripped of their gold medals and permanently banned from men's single competition. Presently, however, they've found a loophole that will allow them to qualify as a pairs team.
Three men, three dreams. It's 1976 in Flint, Michigan. Jackie Moon's American Basketball Association team languishes in last place, with few fans in the seats. Jackie dreams of a merger with the NBA. A tough-minded point guard named Monix is at the end of his career; he's played on the champion Celtics but accepts a trade to Flint to be close to Lynn, the love of his life. Clarence "Coffee" Brown dreams of stardom: he's the Tropics' best player, but he's a hotdog who doesn't value teamwork. When the trio learns that a merger is in the works that won't include the Tropics, they pull the team together to try to achieve the impossible. Can dreams come true in Flint? Written by
"Semi-Pro" is the story of a team in the old ABA. The ABA was a basketball league formed in the 60s to be a competition for the NBA. The league existed from 1967 to 1976 until they could no longer exist and they had to merge with the NBA. Now we have a movie not about the league or its history but about a movie about a team in the waning days of the league. But basically it's just a sport movie and not even a very good one.
Outright the movie tries to elicit laughter by having the team we're supposed to follow be called the 'Tropics' from cold northern Flint, Michigan. The team is owned and coach by one of the players Jackie Moon (Wil Ferrell). The 'Tropics' are a miserable team and Jackie is a miserable coach. He would stop play in the middle of the game to chastise a fan for bringing his own food into the stadium. What he is is a great promoter or better yet a great self- promoter. He opens the game singing his one hit song. He's also a deluded guy who thinks that he can take his team to the NBA when the two leagues merge.
The movie really doesn't even try to be a real sport movie instead it tend to be a showcase for Jackie Moon's idiocy. In other words it show case Wil Ferrell doing idiotic stuff and call it comedy. When the teams are told that they are going to need to increase their attendance in order to be considered for the merger. Jackie comes up with all kind of crazy things including wrestling a bear for halftime entertainment. It's like in some other Wil Ferrell films, the film stop the regular narrative and watch him do things that are supposed to be funny. I'm going to say it, HE ISN'T. He's just like all the other Saturday Night Live actors, they're not very good actors and I find most of their presence in movies a bit of a mockery.
The one good thing about this movie is the Woody Harrelson character. He's an old pro who has been to the NBA and actually have a championship ring. Not only does he teach the team how to play the game properly and actually start winning, he has a decent romance with his ex-wife (Maura Tierney). but then this part of the movie has that done that been there feeling. But it's still better than the rest of the movie.
Personally I think the ABA deserves a better treatment than what it got from this film. In some ways it revolutionized Pro Basketball. They came up with the 3 point shot, they allowed the freewheeling streetball style offense, (back in the day an NBA player showboating is going to get chastised by the coach, the ABA just let it go). If women's baseball can get "A League of Their Own" why does the ABA have to be stuck with this?
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