want my money back.
only that, I want my gas money back. I want the concession stand money
back. I want the brain cells which were killed by this stagnant
back. I want my time back. I want my life back.
Think of the many ways I could have spent my time more productively than
watching Will Ferrell’s latest car-wreck, Semi-Pro. I could have
cleaned my house, done the wash, taken a walk, read a book, surfed for porn
on the internet, watched 180 commercials, counted
to 10,000,000 –
backwards, rearranged pez dispensers,
insulated my cat's kitty condo or gotten dental surgery. Any of
those would have been preferable to sitting through this mess.
guess it’s time I finally give in to something that has been growing on me
for well over a decade. I really can’t stand Will Ferrell. Once in a blue
moon he will do something worthwhile that will give me a little false hope –
Elf and Stranger than Fiction is about it really – but
eventually I keep coming back to the same place.
hate his prancing, mincing overacting. I hate his mean-spirited,
self-satisfied, unfunny jokes. I hate his insistence on trying to use his
white, doughy, middle-aged body for comic effect because he has no other
comic talent. I hate his use of hairstyles as a character trait. I hate
the fact that he is well paid to make total garbage when talented
comedians can’t get
a job. I hate everything about his tired, sad act.
Saturday Night Live Not Ready for Prime Talent Player. Will
Ferrell is the most inexplicable movie star since Adam Sandler; Ferrell’s
Well, actually, the world would probably be a richer place if no one who has
ever been on Saturday Night Live had never done a movie after National
Lampoon’s Animal House. For every one of the very few good films –
Ghostbusters, Fletch, 48 Hrs. (hmmm, none of them have come since the
1980s) – there are dozens of crappy wastes the like of Big Daddy,
Dr. Detroit, It’s Pat!, Kicking and Screaming, Deuce Bigelow, Male Gigolo,
A Night at the Roxbury, Joe Dirt, Beverly Hills
Ninja, Taxi, Corky Romano, the list is way too long and depressing to
of the many actors who have ridden a Saturday Night Live stint into a
series of inexplicable bad films, Ferrell is right about the top of the
is a one-trick pony that doesn’t even have a good trick. Semi-Pro is
just a merging of two styles he has already stunk up the joint with before –
the dumb sports comedy (see: Kicking and Screaming,
Blades of Glory and Talladega
Nights) and the dumb 70s nostalgia comedy (see: Anchorman and
Bewitched – which in fairness was a dumb 60s nostalgia comedy).
that there is anything really 70s about this movie anyway. Despite the fact
that they have lots of loud clothes, extraordinarily high afros and
gratuitous pong, jive turkey and fondue references, there is nothing the least bit 70s
feeling about Semi-Pro.
even take their storyline – the one clever and well thought out thing about
this whole shambling mess of a movie, from a real 70s event. The failure of
the old upstart basketball league the ABA (American Basketball Association)
is a story
ripe for telling.
Only four of its franchises
were allowed to merge with the more established,
less flashy competitor, the NBA – the rest of the clubs were forced to close
down. It is an interesting enough historical
event to make a terrific book, a great drama, a fine documentary, or even a
Instead, with Semi-Pro, the memory of the ABA has to live with one
Ferrell plays Jackie Moon – a basketball star/coach/owner/promoter/pop star
who is in charge of a fictional ABA team called the Flint Tropics. Even the
team’s name is stupid… there is nothing tropical about Flint, Michigan.
I get that it is screenwriter Scot Armstrong's (who also
wrote Ferrell's unfunny Old School as well as the recent horrible
remake of The Heartbreak Kid) idea of irony, but if you're being
ironic with the name, a writer has to acknowledge or at least have a reason
for the irony. Strangely, they used the real names of all the other ABA teams, apparently
trying to drag some reality into the gonzo absurd world of the film.
Despite the fact that they are the worst team in the league and have almost
no following, Jackie is determined to make his team the fourth best in the
league, to get an invite to the NBA. Thus the film becomes an awkward mix
of sports-movie clichés and comic scenes so absurd (and unfunny) as to
Ferrell drags some real actors down into the morass with him – Woody
Harrelson, Maura Tierney and Andy Richter try their best to inject some
professionalism into this lost cause, but in the long run they just end up
looking sad. Rapper Andre Benjamin of OutKast also appears to have some
acting talent, however Robert De Niro or Meryl Streep could not have made his
ridiculous character seem any more realistic.
about time someone admits it. Semi-Pro isn’t just Will Ferrell’s
latest movie, it is his talent level. Farrell is the epitome of the smug
laziness that infests all too much of modern comedy. Semi-Pro is the
worst film that Farrell has ever made
– at least until the next one.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2008 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: March 22, 2008.