Reviewed by: Bob Rossiter
|Featuring:||Martin Lawrence, Patrick Warburton, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Alia Shawkat, Megan Mullally|
|Distributor:||20th Century Fox|
A comedy where old school …meets middle school.
Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Following a public meltdown, a high-strung college basketball coach must redeem himself by leading a junior high school team consisting of athletically challenged youngsters.”
I remember playing junior high basketball, and can relate to all those on the Mt. Vernon team in “Rebound” (except for the one or two who had talent). Part of the comedy from “Rebound” comes from our own ability to laugh at ourselves. The early teen years seems to be God’s way of telling us not to take ourselves too seriously.
This is where Martin Lawrence and “Rebound” comes in. Lawrence is Coach Roy—a championship-winning basketball coach who has forgotten where he came from. He grew up in the slums and overcame obstacles that came his way, but now is just trying to feed his ego. This desire to look good in front of others makes him angry when referees make calls against his team. While being ejected for his outbursts, Coach Roy kicks a basketball, which in turn hits and kills the opposing teams feathered mascot.
Roy is kicked out of college basketball, and takes over coaching at the junior high where he played as a teenager. He did all this trying to return to the college level. The kids on the team idolize Coach Roy, but it soon becomes apparent he doesn’t care about them. The players see that they are just a stepping-stone to Roy, so he can get back to limelight he enjoys. Roy, however, soon learns he has to do more than just “bide his time” with these misfits—he needs to win a game or two.
Instead of just teaching the kids the fundamentals of basketball, Coach Roy teaches them the fundamentals of life. There is no place for ridicule of other team members, and the “Lone Ranger” attitude has to go. He includes lessons on the need for teamwork, communication and courage as well as trying to help one student learn to get her point across with words instead of her fists. While bringing his players to maturity, Roy learns some lessons of his own. He remembers where he came from, and illustrates the importance of being able to sacrifice our own desires for the needs of others. In the end, he enjoys being with these junior high basketball players.
In spite of the fact that “Rebound” is a clean movie for the most part, some may object to a few things. There are two mild obscenities, two uses of the Lord’s name in vain, and a comment about sticking it “where the sun don’t shine.” Some sexual comments about guys liking girls is included as well. Even Coach Roy is caught admiring the looks of one player’s mom, though nothing is shown. The one clothing issue is a scene where cheerleaders are doing their performance with traditional short-skirted outfits.
Some Christians may also be offended in another scene where Coach Roy pays Preacher Don (also played by Lawrence) to pray for the team. This is as a comic prayer in a comedy movie, and doesn’t really ridicule God or Christians. In fact, Preacher Don is supposed to be a positive character.
“Rebound” is a positive movie with few objectionable scenes, but it isn’t as exciting as many other films. There are some funny parts, but much of the comedy falls flat. There also aren’t any twists and turns in the story line, so it is predictable.
This is a decent watch for families.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.