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Semi-Pro takes place in the 1970s and is all about a small time basketball team named the Flint Michigan Tropics. The head coach, owner, and promoter is Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell) and he and his team dream of expanding to be part of the big time NBA. However Jackie is told that in order to actually have a chance at getting into the NBA, the Tropics have to get at least 2000 fans in their stadium by deadlines. The problem is that the Tropics do a little more dancing, fighting, and flailing around the court than actually playing the game. So Jackie hires a new team player named Monix (Woody Harrelson) who actually used to play for the NBA. From there on in it's up to Jackie, Monix, and the whole team to fire up some wild and crazy events for the crowd and actually learn to play the sport properly for once in order to reach their dreams.
Will Ferrell has made a bunch of funny movies already. Whether it be Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Blades of Glory, and Old School. I haven't seen all of them but I heard they were all funny, mostly because of Will Ferrell's comedic brilliance. Semi-Pro is a funny film but it's really only semi-funny, whereas the rest of Ferrell's movies were hilarious romps. Semi-Pro seems undercooked in the hilarious gag department offering a few very funny moments, but the rest of the movie only has little jokes that usually only offer giggles. My favorite moment in Semi-Pro is when Jackie Moon gets called on a foul by the ref (Also the church priest), and Jackie yells in his face an obscenity and "I'll kill your family!" Another scene that will end up a Will Ferrell classic is when he wrestles a bear, and it ends up attacking him and then getting loose in the stadium.
The music in Semi-Pro is awesome with its funky 70s soundtrack. There's also a song played through the movie sung by Jackie Moon called "Love Me Sexy", and it is as funny a song as Will Ferrell can bring. The rest of the cast includes Outkast's talented Andre Benjamin, Maura Tierney, and Will Arnett and Andrew Daly as two hilarious TV show hosts and broadcasters for the Tropics. Woody Harrelson does a fine job in Semi-Pro but he's never funny, all because the script makes his character Monix serious instead of funny. Maura Tierney really just sits around without much to really do, and even Andre Benjamin's character is made too serious to give us any laughs. I just don't understand why so many of the characters in Semi-Pro were so serious. This is a Will Ferrell comedy, everyone should have some funny moments. This problem is what makes Semi-Pro a mixed bag because only half the movie is really very funny, the rest of the movie is pulled down by far too much seriousness.
Will Ferrell and the musical soundtrack are what elevate Semi-Pro to the point where I can recommend it. Will Ferrell is still a very funny guy and I'm sure he has a lot more hilarious comedies on the way in the mere future. But Semi-Pro pretty much gives Ferrell all the funny moments, when his other movies like Anchorman gave the other characters classic moments as well. I give Semi-Pro a 2.5 out of 4, and a recommendation. It has its moments but is dragged down by far too many unfunny characters.
It is 1976 and the American Basketball Association (ABA) is on the cusp of sending four of their more profitable franchises to the National Basketball Association (NBA) (e.g, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New York Nets, and San Antonio Spurs). However, entertainer, promoter, coach, player, and owner of the ABA’s Flint Michigan Tropics, Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell) is livid with such a proposition and instigates unrest among his fellow ABA owners—arguing that the four teams to be elevated upon the dissolution of the ABA should finish in the top four.
Moon’s proposition is granted, however, several stipulations are made along the way (e.g., the Tropics need to average 2000 patrons per home game, etc.) as the four teams elevated to the NBA need to show a stable fan base. The last place Tropics have a lot of work ahead of them and Jackie Moon takes the first step towards his Tropics 4th place goal by trading away his team’s washing machine to the Kentucky Colonels for guard Ed Monix (Woody Harrelson), a league journeyman and former backup point guard for the NBA Champion Boston Celtics.
Despite this new addition, the Tropics are still fundamentally unsound—largely due to Moon’s shenanigans and cheap gimmicks. Monix is elevated to “offensive and defensive coordinator” and the Tropics mettle is tested.
They are within one game of 4th place before ABA Commissioner (David Koechner) announces that because of the Tropics small media market, they will not be elevated to the NBA despite the potential outcome of their team’s standing.
Moon is devastated and trades away his star player and alias rich Clarence Withers A.K.A. Clarence Coffee Black A.K.A. Downtown "Funky Stuff" Malone A.K.A. Sugar Dunkerton A.K.A. "Jumping" Johnny Johnson (André Benjamin) to the San Antonio Spurs in order for him to realize his NBA dream.
Monix convinces Moon that though the Tropics NBA aspirations may have come to a close—their original 4th place goal is still within reach with a win against the Spurs. Jackie Moon is further revitalized when Monix says that he (Moon) still “has one more promotion left in him.”
Moon is in his element and concocts “The Megabowl”—yet another ambitious and outlandish promotion to fill up seats in the Tropics stadium—for the franchise’s final home game against the aforementioned Spurs.
The game is initially a laugher, as it seems as if the Spurs are going to run away with it in the first half. But Jackie Moon takes a nasty spill and is haphazardly carried to the locker room as he sold the team’s stretcher (it is unclear if it was halftime when Moon was injuries as when they returned to the court, it was already the start of the second half). Unconscious, Moon has an audience with his late mother who gives him the give of the “alley-oop.”
Armed with this new move, the Tropics turn to Clarence Coffee Black (Black leaves his Spurs teammates at halftime in order to rejoin the Tropics. HUH?) who makes a living of the Spurs inability to adjust defensively.
With two seconds remaining, the Spurs are still up by one. 116-117.
Moon is set to take two free throws and shoots them underhanded (ala Rick Barry of the San Francisco Warriors).
He makes the first.
Misses the second.
But Monix follows it up and put it a short floater.
Final score. 118-117.
Semi-Pro was certainly entertaining.
And I do love the game of basketball.
But not that much to watch this again…
Take the cutting room jokes in Anchor Man, a not funny Woody Harrelson, and the inability to take jokes far enough to make them funny....and you have Semi-Pro.
A few cheap laughs here and there and a bare chested Will Ferrill weren't enough to keep me awake during this poorly written failure of a comedy. Co-non stars weren't funny and the direction reminded me of any given college films.
When the openings credits started to the 70's sexual funk sung by Ferrill I thought I was in for a good time. 10 minutes later I was looking at my watch hoping for a phone call to have an excuse to relieve myself of this dull, thrown together, forgettable flick. With so much material to reference to - Short shorts, Afros, mustaches, and over the top announcers you would think there would be more comedy than a few masturbation jokes.
The only thing that saves this flick from receiving a 'below average' rating would be Ferrill himself.....and that's about it.
Save this one for a rental when you have time to consume plenty of alcohol before viewing.
I'm not a big Will Ferrell fan, but I do like this one. Some comedies try to stand solely on profanity and vulgarity for laughs but this one didn't fall into that trap. Though there was quite a bit of profanity it wasn't used simply for cheap laughs. "Semi-Pro" has a "Nacho Libre" or "Blades of Glory" flavor to it with a more mainstream style of R-rated humor. As far as Ferrell movies go, I feel "Semi-Pro" was not as good as "Elf" and "Blades of Glory" but better than "The Other Guys."
this movie will have you laughing from start to finish. Will farrell does it again. Great supporting cast too. Storyline is what you would expect from a will farrell movie who has done a string of sport comedy movies from talladega nights to blades of glory (if you consider ice skating a sport) but this adds to the collection. Each movie is different in its own way which is good cause no one likes the same stuff. You will love this.
I love Will Ferrell and I love this movie. It's classic Will Ferrell at his best. If you are a Will Ferrell fan and you have not seen this movie go right now to a place where movies are sold or rented, and buy or rent it. You will not regret it. It also has Andre 3000 and Woody Harrelson in it. It's great.
This type of movie reminds me a lot of King Pin or even Dodgeball but I guess there isn't but so many ways to write a story about the underdogs that somehow come out ahead in the end. This comedy uses the same formula as many others but the difference here is Ferrell and Harrelson. Overall it was entertaining and there was a few parts that made me laugh so I’ll have to say it was pretty good.
Will Ferrell, in my opinion, is one of the funniest guys on the planet! He makes this film appealing and entertaining even if you're not into sports and basketball. He plays his character as Jackie Moon with sarcasm and that's why it's so great! It's definitely a must see & buy!
As a fan of the old ABA and a fan of Will Ferrell I was hoping for a great funny movie. I was dissapointed. The language was filthy, the story was poor and the ABA was treated like it was some type of circus. I had purchased the 2-disc set which had a documentary on the old ABA which was great. The rest of the movie was terrible.
Semi-Pro nay noy be Ferrell's funniest movie, but it's still pretty good. This is an excellent disc. The picture quality continues New Line's streak of near flawless images. A great buy for any basketball fans or people who love cursing!