Time is a treasured commodity, and one which shouldn’t be wasted on the brand new White Males Can’t Leap. The 2023 remake of the legendary sports activities comedy movie is a rare achievement in stripping virtually each constructive factor out its supply materials and discovering a technique to make each unsuitable determination en path to a pathetic facsimile of one thing that was nice.
The 1992 White Males Can’t Leap is a seminal have a look at the perspective, swagger, and tradition of avenue ball — blended with the struggles of early ‘90s city life. It really works due to the dichotomy of Sidney (Wesley Snipes) and Billy (Woody Harrelson), two avenue ball hustlers who staff up and be taught from one another within the course of.
The brand new model of the film fully flips the 2 characters. Kamal (Sinqua Wells) is a former a highschool phenom garnering mammoth hype, solely to break down his senior yr and by no means attain his potential. In the meantime Jeremy (Jack Harlow) is a former participant for Gonzaga whose profession was derailed by accidents. Jeremy now exists by coaching basketball gamers, hawking detox drinks on the fitness center, and desperately taking dietary supplements within the hopes of returning to play ball.
The core idea is there, hustling to become profitable enjoying ball and getting into a avenue event — however not one of the wrestle or stakes. It’s based mostly purely on the self-esteem that Kamal hates working as a supply driver, and Jeremy needs to make sufficient cash that his girlfriend Tatiana (Laura Harrier), who’s a dancer, doesn’t must preserve grinding out crappy jobs as a substitute of being an artist.
It’s additionally notable that whereas the 1992 movie actually had a 3rd lead in Gloria (Rosie Perez), her character is totally erased within the 2023 model — changed by Tatiana, who’s a bit participant at finest. In truth, each of the movie’s two feminine characters pathetically fail the Bechdel Take a look at, and even then one way or the other it’s not even the most important drawback with this film.
This 2023 model of White Males Can’t Leap, actually, actually needs to remind you that Jack Harlow is white. It does this at each single flip, with among the most pathetic one-off jokes and gags that aren’t legitimately humorous. These embody:
- Carrying his gear in an NPR tote bag … GET IT, BECAUSE HE’S WHITE?!
- Jeremy saying Luka Doncic is one of the best participant within the NBA and when folks settle for that “it would assist race relations on this nation.”
- Bringing a bottle of Hennessey to a six yr outdated’s birthday celebration … GET IT, BECAUSE THEY’RE BLACK?!
- Jeremy educating Kamal meditation as if it’s some hidden expertise … GET IT, BECAUSE JEREMY IS WHITE AND KAMAL IS BLACK?!
- When it seems Jeremy is nice at basketball a background character quips “that is gentrification” … GET IT, BECAUSE HE’S WHITE?!
As horrible as all this sounds, I promise in observe it’s worse than you possibly can think about.
None of that is helped by the very fact Harlow can’t act in any respect, and each time he’s on display it reeks of them accepting the one respectable take he gave them — as a result of his supply is so awkward and stilted that I refuse to imagine a greater one existed on the reducing room flooring.
We’re left with a soulless, charmless, made-for-streaming regurgitation of a traditional. The writing is rubbish and self-aware, the appearing is middling and dragged decrease by Harlow, and determined makes an attempt by filmmakers attempt to reinvent the story for 2023 makes it fall flat and hole.
There was completely a technique to re-make White Males Can’t Leap and have it’s attention-grabbing — however this ain’t it.
White Males Can’t Leap is streaming on Hulu. Don’t punish your self by watching it.