Uncle Drew (PG-13)

Comedy 103 min. June 29, 2018
By Craig D. Lindsey
If there is anything that the American public has been trained to loathe, it’s old people. You’ve probably heard the complaints: They’re wrinkly! They’re set in their ways! They watch Fox News! Uncle Drew puts that much-reviled party front and center by getting some basketball icons together, slapping prosthetic makeup on them and letting them school young punks on the court.

Yeah, it sounds goofy and gimmicky as hell, but roll with it. First up, we have Drew (Kyrie Irving), a streetball legend who’s more myth than man. He rounds up his old buddies to play in a tournament game back in Rucker Park, the legendary streetball court where they got their start. There’s Preacher (Chris Webber), who mostly goes to escape his bat-carrying wife (WNBA star Lisa Leslie); Lights (Reggie Miller), the star shooter who’s basically blind now; Boots (Nate Robinson), who somehow snaps out of his senile, catatonic state when Drew passes him a basketball; and martial-arts teacher Big Fella (Shaquille O’Neal).

The movie is based on the commercials Irving did for Pepsi a few years back, where he got dolled up like an old fart and dunked on unsuspecting youngbloods. Jay Longino’s sap-filled script turns Drew into a mythological Zen master, dispensing words of wisdom after living a life of solitude and regrets when he’s not chasing after buckets. Nearly everyone who isn’t covered in makeup and pretending to be old are just underwritten assholes. The villain, Dax, is more appealing, as Lil Rel Howery displays a manic, hyper, fast-riffing energy, making Uncle Drew his opportunity to show Hollywood he’s available for the roles Kevin Hart turns down.
Charles Stone III Kyrie Irving, Lil Rel Howery, Shaquille O'Neal, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, Chris Webber, Erica Ash, Lisa Leslie, Nick Kroll Lionsgate

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