Semi-Pro (2008) starring Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, André Benjamin, Maura Tierney, Andrew Daly, Will Arnett, Andy Richter directed by Kent Alterman - movie review on The Movie Scene

Semi-Pro (2008)   2/52/52/52/52/5


Woody Harrelson and Will Ferrell in Semi-Pro (2008)

Not Even Semi-Good

If you are one of those who think Will Ferrell is a comedy god then "Semi-Pro" will be semi-good but for those who don't well it's not even semi-good. Sorry but "Semi-Pro" is a weak movie which takes the usual sports team under dog story and then throws a lot of nonsense humour into the mix. Now of course some of this humour is the out of place style gags you often find in Ferrell movies and so Ferrell fans can have their fix but for anyone else there is barely a funny moment.

After scoring a hit with "Love Me Sexy" Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell - Blades of Glory) buys the Flint Tropics Basketball team and becomes owner, coach and player. But thing become tough when the ABA is set to merge with the NBA and only the top four teams will remain. So Jackie brings in former NBA player Monix (Woody Harrelson - No Country for Old Men) to try and help gain promotion whilst Monix hopes to get back with love of his life Lynn (Maura Tierney). And then there is Clarence "Coffee" Brown (André Benjamin) the hot-dogging star of the Tropics and the only one with genuine NBA potential but we all know there is no I in team.

André Benjamin as Clarence in Semi-Pro (2008)

I'll be blunt I just didn't enjoy "Semi-Pro" and my problem starts with the storyline with its underdog story. Now I know the focus of the movie is not on the story but the humour but the whole tale of the Tropics trying to become a top 4 team seems so slim and unoriginal. Even subplots such as Monix and Lynn whilst Clarence has a shot of the NBA does little to flesh this slim storyline out.

The knock on effect of the storyline being so slim is that we get a lot of set piece gags which have no purpose. A training session which Jackie takes with everyone dressed up in costumes is so daft it's not even funny and the reoccurring joke about Duke making the half time throw is just padding. Maybe those who are fans of Will Ferrell will enjoy it because we have him screaming, shouting, acting petulant and delivering various other moments which are supposed to be funny. But none of it is clever and almost goes beyond being amusingly stupid to just pointless.

And to honest Ferrell is not the only one to blame because the rest of the cast which includes Woody Harrelson, André Benjamin and Maura Tierney fail to really deliver. In fact there are moments through out the movie where they have a look on their faces of "what am I doing here", whether that was intentional or just their true feelings coming through is another matter.

About the only thing which I can be slightly positive about is the pastiching of the 70s from Jackie Moon doing a Burt Reynold's style photo shoot too the costumes. But it is the only positive in a movie which thankfully only lasts 91 minutes.

What this all boils down to is that "Semi-Pro" just didn't work for me, it felt tired, lazy and unfunny with only the pastiching of the 70s barely working. But for those who enjoy Will Ferrell and his unique brand of humour I am sure will enjoy it much more than I did although even then I don't think anyone will say this is great Will Ferrell.


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