A film I really wanted to like but the way it was constructed made it impossible. A coming of age tale about a Harlem based basketball prodigy who is trying to juggle several things while concentrating on his dream to make it to the NBA. Who wouldn’t like that? Well…
Basically this is a young man making life decisions set against the backdrop of basketball. With that kind of set up you would assume that the basketball part is at least somewhat realistic and yet it isn’t. We are expected to believe that these relatively short and slow moving and below average skillwise players are the best that New York City – the home of basketball – has to offer. Not convincing in the least. Sorta kills things.
Then, is it just me or was the lead character Alfred “Boogie” Chin (played by Taylor Takahashi) not the kind of kid you would root for. Something about him rubbed me the wrong way. Somewhat dull and sometimes rude. A bad combo. That is strike two.
The first (and maybe only) ball right over the heart of the plate (dunno why I have switched to baseball analogies for a basketball movie) is the fact that the lead character is Asian and the Chinese American story within basketball has been largely ignored, so good to see it on the screen for once.
For me, if you are into this kind of underdog, odds stacked against him basketball story then there are a few documentaries which basically have the same thing to say that are tons more enjoyable.