Kyrie Irving has managed to turn a series of Pepsi ads into a full-length feature film called “Uncle Drew,” in which the Boston Celtics star and a bunch of ex-NBA players dress up as old people and play basketball. If this concept doesn’t result in a Razzie Award, it has to be considered a gigantic success.
The trailer for the film (scheduled to be released shortly after the NBA Finals in June) was released on Wednesday, and it straddles the line Adam Sandler drew in the sand with the “Grown Ups” franchise between hilarious for kids under age 13 (it’s not yet rated) and hilariously bad for everyone else.
There’s even a “hold my nuts” joke.
The script is credited to Jay Longino, whose only two IMDb writing credits are “Skiptrace,” a 2016 straight-to-video film starring Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville, and 2008’s “Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation.” It is directed by Charles Stone III, whose filmmaking credits include the slightly more promising list of “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story” (2013), “Mr. 3000” (2004) and “Drumline” (2002).
The theme for the movie is not so layered we couldn’t decipher it from the trailer. Uncle Drew will round up his old pals to play in a 50th anniversary tournament at Harlem’s Rucker Park, and comedy ensues, like Chris Webber baptizing babies by putting them behind his back and dunking them:
The good news from the two-minute teaser: Kyrie seems to have real comedy acting chops, Lil Rel Howery looks like he’s reprising his role as the hilariously bewildered friend in “Get Out,” and any time you can get Tiffany Haddish and Nick Kroll involved in the same project, you’re capable of good ideas.
Plus, that line about Shaquille O’Neal looking “like Wolverine’s grandfather” is legitimately funny:
But when you’re relying on the same joke — basketball players wearing old people makeup — to carry a 90-minute movie (god willing), it’s a tough nut to crack, and you hope they didn’t just pack the only funny parts of the movie into the trailer. That’s a Sandler staple. But, hey, “Grown Ups 2” grossed $250 million, and this is basically another ad for Pepsi and Nike, so do whatever makes you happy, Kyrie.
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