Thursday, February 28, 2008

Let's Get Rainforest Sweaty!


Release: 02/29/2008
Rated R
1 hour, 30 minutes


Jackie Moon, played by Will Ferrell (Anchorman: The Legend of Rob Burgundy), rises to the top of the 70's Billboard charts with his hit "Love Me Sexy." He puts aside his music passion to chase his love of basketball as the owner, coach and member of the American Basketball Association's Flint Tropics. When the ABA-NBA merger threatens to lay his well-intentioned if not well-skilled team asunder, Moon challenges the commissioners for a chance to be a NBA franchise. Pulling out all the stops, Jackie trades for NBA veteran Ed Monix, played by Woody Harrelson (Play It to the Bone), and begins a wacky series of promotions to increase Tropics attendance and attain the NBA dream.

If you recall my February Gang Bang, I wrote that Will Ferrell was due to have an occasional stinker and the trailers gave this one the stench of over-worn gym socks. I entered Semi-Pro with my expectations at an all-time low, and exited to proclaim Ferrell's funny streak continues! Harrelson plays it low key, an excellent straight man to Ferrell's insanity. They are joined by Andre Benjamin (Be Cool), Maura Tierney (Liar, Liar), a gaggle of usual suspects from Ferrell's previous films plus some SNL alums and crew members of The Daily Show. Benjamin and Tierney were good, but both characters were given little to work with. Not to spoil anything, but my favorite character, hands down, was Monix mega-fan Kyle, played by Rob Corddry (Blades of Glory). See the movie and you'll understand why. If all these funny people doing funny things weren't enough, audiences should get one helluva kick out of two cameos, one by an Academy Award-nominated actor and the other by a multiple Grammy Award winner -- anyone who reveals their identities are doing a disservice to audiences everywhere.

Like Ferrell's previous films, you can't shill out for Semi-Pro with the expectation of great cinema. What you can expect is wild, eccentric characters and outlandish scenes that may or may not be hilarious. If you've heard the "Love Me Sexy" song from the trailers, be prepared to hear it a lot more. Luckily, its stupid but catchy lyrics are offset by a great soundtrack of 70's soul, always a plus in my book. Semi-Pro is side-splittingly funny, period. Then again, I could be going through withdrawal for not having seen anything truly outrageous since, since...damn, it's been a while!

Dirty Undies
Semi-Pro derives a lot of its humor from physical violence. If you don't find slapping, punching and reckless gunplay amusing, maybe you should sit this one out. I should also mention that they don't hold back with cursing. I haven't seen language this foul and derogatory since I read lips during the last NBA game. The only thing Semi-Pro fumbled over in scoring the R rating was nudity. Will Ferrell teases us, as do the extensive crew of hot ball girls, but nobody puts the goods out there. I may have to call a technical foul on that one.

The Money Shot
I may have been a bit more vague than usual but too many details would spoil the surprises. All that matters are the great lines, goofy times and the semblance of an underdog story. After a month of hit-and-miss cinema, what more can you hope for to restore your faith in Hollywood?

Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. Not reading this because I want to see the flick first, but it says "Full Price" and only shows two $$...just fyi.

  2. Thanks for the heads up, my editor needs to be fired!