Mooselicker says: This was written by Carter Johns. This is his second contributing piece. He’s a good man obsessed with portmanteaus. If you know what that word means then I ask, how’s the economy treating you college boy?
Rebound perpetuates the ridiculous, insulting, and, frankly, racist notions that 1) Martin Lawrence is a believable lead and 2) Papa John’s pizza is edible. The screenwriters must have realized his big-eared bug-eyed antics play better with people for whom boogers are as funny as a man in a dress (for “man in a dress” humor, see House, Big Momma’s and House 2, Big Momma’s).
In the movie, the approximately 4’10 Lawrence is a former basketball star (eye roll 1) turned hothead college coach (eye roll 2) who loses his job after accidentally killing a mascot and has to redeem himself by coaching an junior high team (eye roll 3). Apparently in this universe, there are no civil trials for wrongful death. This plot apparently made sense to the writers and producers, who probably spent more time researching cocaine dealers than Division 1 hiring criteria. The junior high team is called the Smelters. You know, like whoever smelt it dealt it. God this movie is insulting.
(“Hmm, we need a basketball coach…call Martin Lawrence; he’s black!” “Should we hire smaller kids?” “Do you mean dwarves?…That would be incredible.”)
The mother of the star player (surprise, he’s black!) is Wendy Raquel Robinson, who played the principal in Steve Harvey’s TV show and wore skirts so low they would have been called inappropriate if she weren’t so sexy and so black. They give her a terrible haircut and worse lines. She becomes attracted to Martin (eye roll 4) in a move that continues to baffle me about what Hollywood thinks of women.
Martin introduces himself to the butch Hispanic girl by calling basketball “work release” instead of detention (eye roll 5), and calls the vaguely Asian-looking kid from that lab scene in Juno “Yao Ming” even though I’m pretty sure he is 100% white (eye roll 6). I’m telling you, insulting too mild a word.
(Aside from Gollum, most of these kids are about eye level with Martin.)
The jerk opposing coach is played by David Putty, who plays the character Patrick Warburton in real life. I like Putty, even in that show he’s in with the mother from Grounded for Life, the David Spade from SNL and Just Shoot Me, and Landon Donovan’s ex-wife. I watch way too much TV. Oh, and Horatio Sanz plays the assistant coach. That’s about all that ever needs to be said about him. Alia Shawkat (Maeby from Arrested Development) plays a school reporter, and a very strong supporting role in many of my terrible fantasies. And the weird-looking kid from a bunch of things you’ve seen before like Kicking & Screaming and The Amanda Show continues to weird it up as a vomit-prone, uncoordinated team member. Basically, a white teenaged Donovan McNabb.
So Martin helps the kids out of their assorted jams and surprise surprise, eventually gets reinstated to coach in the NCAA, but surprise surprise surprise, the kids have actually grown on him and surprise surprise surprise surprise, he comes back just in time to help them win the big game, and SURPRISE SURPRISE SURPRISE SURPRISE SURPRISE Martin gets the girl/MILF. I would add more eye rolls, but my corneas got stuck behind my head 12 lines ago. Also, have you ever had semantic satiation? Because you do now.
From 5th to 7th grade, I played on my school’s basketball team. One year, the coach, who constantly smelled like my uncles during holiday parties, stole the money we gave him for letterman jackets. Our assistant coach was a cop, but the head coach never got caught. The next year, the cop became coach and his son was named starting guard even though I was older and better. What I’m saying is, Rebound isn’t exactly believable to my experience. And, I’m still not over that snub. Also, fuck the police.
(I am sure Rebote is a much funnier movie. Also, that’s not forced perspective; Martin’s bodily proportions are ridiculous.
If you want a great teen basketball movie, I’d suggest The Winning Season with Sam Rockwell and Julia Roberts’ niece. It’s kind of sad that she’s considered Julia’s niece instead of Eric’s daughter, but I don’t make the rules.