Prayer Focus
Movie Review

Rebound

MPAA Rating: PG for mild language and thematic elements

Reviewed by: Bob Rossiter
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 45 min.
Year of Release:
2005
Featuring: Martin Lawrence, Patrick Warburton, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Alia Shawkat, Megan Mullally
Director: Steve Carr
Producer: Robert Simonds
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Copyright, 20th Century Fox
Copyright, 20th Century Fox
Copyright, 20th Century Fox
Copyright, 20th Century Fox
Copyright, 20th Century Fox
Relevant Issues
Copyright, 20th Century Fox
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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.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—I was pleased to see Martin Lawrence in this family friendly movie. It was nice to see a movie with no sex, language or offensive material. The theatre was packed with parents and their children, and everyone was laughing. A nice summer flick, with a positive, happy ending-Go see!
My Ratings: Good/3½
—Terry, age 34
Positive—I was somewhat hesitant to take my kids to see a Martin Lawrence movie because I expected the obligatory crude humor and language. However, due to the PG rating (which isn’t always reliable), I decided to take them. We were all pleasantly suprised by what little was objectionable. I only noted one mild curse word (it was the “D” word used twice and the count was confirmed by my 10 year old).

The movie has all of us laughing throughout even though the story line is predictable. However, the underlying moral that money and materialism are not what’s important in life comes through loud and clear. All three of my kids (ages 10, 16, and 18) thoroughly enjoyed this film and we recommend it.
My Ratings: Better than Average/4
—GT Johnston, age 43
Positive—My wife and I took our 10 year old son to see the movie. While the plot was fairly predictable, we all enjoyed the movie. In fact, the movie seemed to get better as it progressed. Yes, there were a couple of slightly objectionable comments in the movie, but nothing too egregious. In the world of Hollywood that we live in today, “Rebound” is pretty tame, and I would recommend it to families.
My Ratings: Better than Average/3
—Steven, age 47
Positive—My 10 year old and I saw this entertaining and refreshing movie. As a youth basketball and baseball coach, I am going to have our teams watch this. Great message about encouraging one another, keeping grades up while playing sports, and teamwork, which is not modeled much in pro sports today. Anyone with a child in middle school will realize the issues the kids are dealing with in this movie (i.e. crushes, etc.) is the beginning of that awkward stage and an accurate portrayal of that age. There are a few boys who like girls, and one who still enjoys food more! Sit back and enjoy with your kids!
My Ratings: Good / 3
—Michael, age 34

Comments from young people
Positive—I think this movie was worth seeing and is a great family movie. When I saw the previews I wasn`t sure I wanted to see it, but now I`m glad I did. It showed many valuable lessons such as working together and winnig isn`t everything. I would highly recommend this movie.
My Ratings: Better than Average/3
—Andreana, age 11
Negative—Bleh. Off the wall humor that isn’t funny. The characters get on your nerves, rather than get you to like them—especially the principle. Waste of time. …
My Ratings: Average / 2
—Daniel Robison, age 17
Movie Critics
…its message scores in the triple digits…
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review
Martin Lawrence …looks like a kinder, gentler, happier and rounder Martin Lawrence than we’re accustomed to. He also talks nicer. …fun enough in a sweet but predictable way…
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…Kids who sport a love of basketball will cheer…
—Stan Urankar, Sun Newspapers of Cleveland
…Kids will enjoy the harmless yet mind-numbing fun of ‘Rebound’. Adults will simply have to endure because this one…
—Scott Craven, The Arizona Republic
…The thing with “Rebound” is: If you’ve seen the poster, if you’ve seen the trailer, if you’ve seen the commercial, you’ve seen the movie…
—The Detroit News