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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Semi-Pro

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Judy Thorburn

"Semi-Pro" - Ferrell's Basketball Spoof Is Not Even Semi-Funny

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"SEMI-PRO" - FERRELL'S BASKETBALL SPOOF IS NOT EVEN SEMI-FUNNY

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

Will Ferrell never fails to disappoint me. I am still waiting for the day when the overrated comic actor will deliver a funny movie that I can actually rave about. After his last film Blades of Glory, I thought it could only get better. No way, I said to myself, could his next film be worse. Boy, was I wrong. To put it bluntly, Semi pro is his worst effort yet, an awful collection of what seems like rejected SNL type skits strung together in another silly script that relies on foul language, sight gags and yes, Ferrell’s same old, repetitive schtick that I just don’t get.

What is it with Ferrell and sports? He’s poked fun at NASCAR racing in Talledega Nights which he then followed up with a send up on Olympic men’s ice skating pairs, and now professional basketball is the target for Ferrell’s style of infantile humor. Who knows what’s next, I dare to ask, fool heartedly.

But let me stick on the subject at hand, Ferrell’s latest effort, Semi Pro in which, he plays what has become his trademark persona, an emotionally immature, overgrown jerk. Set during the disco/funk era of the 70’s; 1976 to be precise, Will Ferrell, in a Caucasian style Afro and sideburns is Jackie Moon, a former one hit wonder pop singer who spent the royalties made from the success of his only smash single “Love Me Sexy” to buy a basketball team, in which he plays power forward, coaches, promotes, as well as entertains the bleacher crowds with pre-show stunts. Only the Flint Tropics is the worst team in the ABA and with sparse attendance at their games, their existence is threatened when the BNA announces a merger and only the best four teams will be taken; the rest will be dissolved.

Intent on winning a place in the NBA, Jackie acquires Eddie Monix (an unfunny Woody Harrelson, in an awful wig) from another team by trading him for a washing machine, in hopes of adding some needed spark and inspiration to his struggling team. For Monix, a washed up former star player from the Celtics with a bad knee who spent a great deal of his career on the bench, this could be his opportunity to seek redemption, and in a wasted sideline plot that could easily have been deleted, win back the affections of his former girlfriend (ER’s Moira Tierney).

To no surprise the script employs that over used formula, where the underdog(s) comes from behind under their new leader’s guidance and, to no surprise, makes good.

Besides Harrelson and Tierney (in a throwaway role) the supporting cast includes Andre Benjamin as Clarence “Coffee Black” the teams one breakout star player, David Koechner as the Commissioner, Will Arnett and Andrew Daly as the Flint Tropics’ play by play announcers and cameos by Tim Meadows and Kristin Wiig of Saturday Night Live fame. Ferrell obviously likes to surround himself on screen with his actor friends who play second fiddle to the buffoon king.They may be his off screen buddies, but as team players in this film they fail to score any points when it comes to being funny.

Ferrell delivers his usual shenanigans; all low brow, cheap shots at trying to get a laugh. Examples include gagging like a cat when trying to vomit, playing a life threatening game of Russian Roulette, wrestling with “Dewie” the killer bear, or watching Ferrell’s flabby body run around in shorts; not what I call chuckle material.

Yet, Semi pro is not a complete disaster. There is one funny, running joke that involves Jackie Earle Haley as a stoned out hippie and a fake check for $10,000. And I was pleasantly surprised by that catchy and somewhat humorous song, Love Me Sexy. Ferrell can actually sing. If he continues on a losing streak and can’t come up with something new and original regarding his film career, Will might want to take a stab as a recording artist.

Die hard Ferrell fans who think he can do no wrong, will have to admit he’s dropped the ball this time and delivered a foul play. That, certainly, is nothing to laugh about.