Film Review: Ferrell’s new comedy isn’t so new
The first time I saw the trailer for Semi-Pro, I immediately rolled my eyes and said, "Here we go again." It’s not that I’m not a Will Ferrell fan, but far from it. The problem is that I enjoy them about as much as I enjoy a good song on the radio before it’s played over and over. That isn’t to say that I’m tired of this kind of movie – but I’m getting close.
Semi-Pro is the story of the Flint Wolverines, owned by player and coach Jackie Moon (Ferrell). When the ABA/NBA merger is announced, the Wolverines are all but finished until Moon insists that the merger be based on the teams with the top four records.†Moon then trades for worn-out player Ed Monix (Woody Harrelson). The transition is slow at first, but as with all sports movies the team gets rolling before trouble arises.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I laughed during this movie. But, if you’re like me and you’re waiting for Ferrell to once again display his acting skills from Stranger Than Fiction, you’ll have to wait. This film is vintage Ferrell. It’s slapstick, immature, over-the-top comedy with plenty of comic violence and crude dialogue to keep the average fan entertained.
Anyone who got a kick out of†movies like Old School and Talledega Nights will surely enjoy this film for what it is. So what is it? It’s Talledega Nights on hardwood. It’s Ricky Bobby changing his name to Jackie Moon. It’s nothing fresh or original; it’s just a repeat of what we’ve seen before, and for some people that’s going to be just fine. As for me, I think it could have done better, but I can’t†imagine how much fresh material the writers can really come up with when Ferrell is doing the same film he’s been doing for years. ?My biggest issue with the film is the R rating. I’m fairly sure†that if†the writers†were to take out the F-bombs, this movie probably†could have managed to get out with a PG-13 rating. But they decided to leave them in and†the film ends up looking like a 13-year-old’s movie dressed up in an 18-year-old’s clothes.
Now, I can’t say that the film was a complete bust. Again, I’ll admit that I laughed. As a huge Arrested Development fan, I was thrilled to see Will Arnet back on the screen in a great role as the team’s color commentator (who I would kill to see call an actual game). Plus, there†is a scene where Jackie Moon goes toe-to-toe with a bear that is pure gold.
Overall, Semi-Pro was an OK flick. Any fan of Ferrell should love it.†But to all movie fans who are teetering on the edge with Ferrell, I’d say that this is one to steer away from.