I really wanted to like this movie. Although Mr. Ferrell’s recent movies have been less than stellar (Talladega Nights?), Semi-Pro looked promising with it’s backdrop of 1970’s basketball and proven supporting cast, including Woody Harrelson and Andy Richter. The movie, however, fails to deliver the goods – mostly due to the writing.
Ferrell quickly becomes tiresome as the preening, egomaniacal player/coach/owner of the Flint Tropics, a semi-pro basketball team. Perhaps the funniest scene of the movie is the opening, where Ferrell’s character Jackie Moon introduces the team and then serenades the crowd with his trademark song, “Love Me Sexy”. The play-by-play announcers for the team offer some mild comic relief as they jab at one another but the movie quickly goes downhill from here.
The team is bad, mostly because of Jackie, and they soon receive news that the team will be dissolved unless they can turn things around attendance-wise and win the championship. The rest of the movie showcases Jackie’s efforts to fill the seats and win games, which includes recruting a former star player (Harrelson). Harrelson and Ferrel never find anything remotely close to chemistry with one another and a divergent plot including Harrelson and a former flame (Maura Tierney) just adds to the muck.
At its best the movie can be thought of as a variety of skits strung together as Jackie Moon pursues one wacky idea after another to save his team – unfortunately none of these “skits” even by themselves is worth the time invested.
2 out of 5 stars