Will Ferrell first became known as part of the cast of Saturday Night Live. He started making movies, most of which were of the silly comedy variety. I have seen and enjoyed many of his movies and tend to be willing to see his new movies. I was just able to see Semi-Pro, his newest movie.
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Jackie Moon had a hit single with the song Love Me Sexy. He used the money he made from the song to buy the Flint Tropics, a team in the American Basketball Association. Jackie not only owned the team, but acted as coach and the power forward. Even though the team didn't have a good record and very few fans, Jackie hoped that the team would be merged into the NBA. He was thrilled when he learned that the merger would happen until the commissioner said that only four teams would make the movie to the NBA. Jackie and a few of the other owners had a condition added that the top four teams would be the ones to merge so that everyone had a chance.
Jackie decided to do a trade to add Ed Monix, a former player for the championship winning Boston Celtics. After a somewhat rocky start, the rest of the team decided they wanted Ed to take over the coaching, leaving Jackie coach in name only and in charge of promotions. Jackie came up with some very unique promotion ideas once a stipulation was added that the teams had to have 2,000 people attend every home game in addition to being one of the top teams.
Semi-Pro was set in 1976, so most of the characters were wearing ugly clothes and had really, really bad hair styles. The hairstyles and clothes did look authentic for the time period of the movie. Jackie and the other players tended to spend time at a nightclub that looked like a disco to me. A lot of music from the time was also used. Most of it was disco music, so anyone who can’t stand that type of music may want to pick a different movie. Some of Jackie’s song Love Me Sexy was heard a few different times. It also sounded like a disco song and the lyrics were rather stupid.
Basketball played a huge part in Semi-Pro. I know the basics of the game and that is it since I don’t really like it and I never watch games. I knew that basketball was going to be a big part of the movie before seeing it and that didn’t concern me since I have enjoyed other sports movies when I don’t care for the actual sports. People that don’t like basketball or sports in general may not like the movie. The movie was focused on a fictional team that was part of the ABA. Before seeing the movie, I hadn’t heard of the ABA before. I did recognize the names of the four teams that were supposed to be joining the NBA and they are still teams now. I did a little research after watching the movie and discovered that the ABA was a real league and it really did merge with the NBA in 1976.
Semi-Pro was a fairly funny movie overall. I didn’t think it was a hilarious movie, but there was a decent amount of humor used. Jackie said and did a lot of weird or even downright bizarre things which I thought added humor. He came up with all kinds of odd ideas for promotions, like when he wrestled a bear and jumped over the cheerleaders on roller skates that were a bit stupid but did make me laugh. The movie used more silly and even stupid humor. I did expect that since that tends to happen in Ferrell’s movies. The movie will probably be too silly for some people. This isn’t a movie for everyone or even for all of Ferrell’s fans. I thought the comedy worked for the movie. People need to be in the mood for something more on the silly and stupid side to fully enjoy this one.
I think all of Ferrell’s movies that I’ve seen before this one have been rated PG-13. Semi-Pro was rated R, so there is more swearing and even some sexual situations that haven’t been in some of his other movies. The word that rhymes with luck was used several times, as well as several other more vulgar curses. Anyone that is bothered by that type of language will probably want to skip this one. There was only a small amount of violence in a few scenes that mainly involved the Tropics getting into a fight with another team during a game. A subplot connected to Ed and Lynn - she was either his ex-girlfriend or ex-wife - did cause the only sex scene. Very little was actually shown, but they were extremely vocal. In addition to that, there were some sexual remarks used throughout the movie. Several of the players were shown shirtless at least once and they were all wearing very short shorts.
Jackie Moon was a big talker who usually couldn’t deliver on his promises. He was still reveling in the fame he’d achieved with his one and only hit song. He loved being the center of attention, which is probably why he bought the Tropics and made himself the coach and power forward. He really wasn’t that good a player and he had no clue how to be a coach. He was just clueless about most things in general. I did think that Will Ferrell handled the part well. All most all of the other players on the team were flat, one-dimensional characters. Clarence received a little more attention since he was supposed to be the best player, but even he wasn’t that developed. He did have a bit of an attitude. Andre Benjamin was good in the part.
Ed Monix joined the Tropics after being traded. He had a history of fighting with many of the other players, so that made things a bit uncomfortable for a while. Ed had actually played in the NBA for a while and was now in the decline of his basketball career. He did seem almost desperate to keep playing. I did like Woody Harrelson in the part. I never did figure out for sure if Lynn and Ed had been married or only dating before things fell apart for them. I think they had just been dating, but I could be wrong. He was still very interested in her and she was trying to convince him she wasn’t interested. She did seem like a nice woman who was now involved with a jerk named Kyle. Maura Tierney was fine in the part.
Dick Pepperfield and Lou Redwood were the announcers for the Tropic’s games and they hosted a local television show connected to the team as well. They were frequently around without doing a lot. They were friends with Jackie, which might be how they got the jobs in the first place. Bobby Dee had some kind of office job with the team and was one of Jackie’s friends. Andy Richter didn’t have much to do with that part.
Will Arnett - Lou Redwood
Andre Benjamin - Clarence ‘Coffee’ Black
Rob Corddry - Kyle
Andrew Daly - Dick Pepperfield
Will Ferrell - Jackie Moon
Woody Harrelson - Ed Monix
Andy Richter - Bobby Dee
Maura Tierney - Lynn
Kent Alterman - Director
Semi-Pro was a fairly simple, silly movie that didn’t have any surprises. It will be too silly and predictable for some people. I did think it was entertaining and can be enjoyable if people don’t have their expectations too high before watching it. Fans of Will Ferrell may enjoy it. This isn’t a movie for everyone.
Will Ferrell Movies
Bewitched ~ Blades of Glory ~ Elf ~ Kicking & Screaming ~ The Producers (2005) ~ Starsky & Hutch ~ Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby ~ Zoolander ~
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