Uncle Drew Review

The new basketball-star filled film, Uncle Drew, doesn’t bring much of a great or original story or characters. Thankfully, though, it does actually brings some laughs as well as a solid comedic performance from the film’s lead.

The film follows a down on his luck Dax (Lil Rey Howery) as he suddenly loses everything to his longtime rival Mookie (Nick Kroll). The two live in Harlem, where basketball legends are born and the historical Rucker Classic street-ball tournament is held. But when Dax’s team is stolen away from Mookie, Dax can only rely on a local legend, Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving), to help build a team to win the tournament.

Howery has some great comedic moments and without a doubt carries the film through many of its funny moments. He shows that he can work with just about anyone in the film and the movie wouldn’t be the same without him.


For a movie all about basketball and its culture, there isn’t much play in the film PHOTO: NY Times


Irving and the slew of NBA stars attempt to keep up with Howery, but ultimately fall far behind his talents. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect much better. However, I do feel that Irving’s stiff acting is very distracting and takes away from scenes that require some real emotion to shine. Also I wanted to thank the film for reminding me how unfunny Nick Kroll is. His character is extremely annoying and the only thing I found funny about him was that no one else in the theater even laughed at any of his lines.

Uncle Drew is also one of the most unoriginal stories told as it basically plays as a loveable loser attempting to win sports film. There are so many other movies like Uncle Drew out there and the film has moments that feel like its reminding its viewers that they are watching a movie.  These moments feel more groan-worthy than anything and often take its viewers out of the moment entirely.


Uncle Drew’s cast has plenty of basketball prowess, but not much of acting. PHOTO: Roger Ebert


Even with all of these gripes in mind, though, Uncle Drew’s biggest strength is that its characters and actors seems to just let loose and have fun. Some viewers might not even recognize as many issues with the film. Sure there are some ridiculously stupid moments, including a dumb dance-off and plenty of hit or miss jokes, and even the makeup effect on each of the NBA players’ faces aren’t great, but none of these things take away from the fun the film tries to offer and delivers from time to time.

So is Uncle Drew an excuse for NBA players to have their moment on the big screen: Sure, but it’s not necessarily a terrible thing. There’s plenty of fun to be had, but its fun moments are often drowned out by lackluster storytelling, dumb moments, and annoying characters.


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