“Uncle Drew” (Summit)
By Catholic News Service
Mostly harmless sports comedy, based on a Pepsi ad campaign, in which a basketball coach (Lil Rel Howery) whose players have deserted him on the eve of a prestigious tournament turns for help to the title character (Kyrie Irving), an elderly and elusive legend from the Harlem hoops scene of the 1960s. Together they hit the road to recruit the various members of the old man’s former team (Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller and Nate Robinson) in hopes of thwarting the obnoxious rival (Nick Kroll) who enticed the trainer’s original squad away from him.
Director Charles Stone III blends court heroics with riffs on everything from Howery’s physique to the quirks of the aged and even throws in a spontaneous dance competition. But the sum of his ingredients is not overly satisfying, especially given the hard-to-swallow premise. Teamwork and self-confidence are celebrated in Jay Longino’s script, which also offsets the fun it pokes at Pentecostal exuberance with brief affirmations of Christian faith.
A glimpse of aberrant bedroom behavior played for laughs, fleeting male rear nudity, cohabitation, references to promiscuity and premarital relationships, some sexual and mildly irreverent humor, at least one use each of profanity and crude language, numerous milder oaths, a bleeped F-word, several crass terms. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
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