Reviewed by: Holly Cover
Starring: Lil' Bow Wow, Morris Chestnut, Jonathan Lipnicki, Sandra Prosper, Brenda Song | Directed by: John Schultz | Produced by: Barry Josephson, Peter Heller | Written by: Jordan Moffet, Michael Elliot | Distributor: 20th Century Fox
In the enjoyable “Like Mike” from 20th Century Fox, Calvin Cambridge (Lil' Bow Wow) is an orphan in a group home. He’s a boy often picked on by the older kids, while the group home director is not exactly attentive and makes them work outside the basketball arena on game days. More than anything, Calvin desperately wants a family.
When Calvin finds a pair of used sneakers just his size with the initials “M.J.” on them, he assumes Michael Jordan was the previous owner. And after a magical string of events, Calvin, and the whole world discover that he can play with the big boys—the Knights! But the whole thing could come to a screeching halt if anyone discovers what the secret is to Calvin’s performance, or if anything happens to those sneakers. Naturally, various events make it necessary for Calvin and his friends to work together to get him and his sneakers to a must-win game.
Along the way, Calvin develops relationships with the team, and in his search for a family, eventually finds someone who cares for him.
“Like Mike” is a very cute, very funny movie. It’s great for kids, and not just those interested in basketball. There are a few curse words, but overall, unless a person looks at the number, or is listening for them, those words are not very noticeable. There is no sex or nudity, and no one gets hurt but the bad guy (and he gets in trouble at the end).
The value of this movie is in its display of qualities like friendship, loyalty, and perseverance, as well as a look into a world many Christian families have no dealings with. There is no direct Christian reference, although Calvin does pray to be like Mike (Jordan). But there are wholesome desires like having a family, being loyal to friends, playing well, being honest, respecting authorities and rules, and working with others to achieve a goal.