America's homeboy comedy of the year is about basketball only in the sense that writer-director Shelton's Bull Durham was about baseball. It's a truly terrific piece of entertainment propelled by the magic and dynamism of its stars. Sidney Deane (Snipes) meets Billy Hoyle (Harrelson) on a public court where the game is played as a mix of macho combat, stand-up comedy and con-artistry. The jokes and banter are wonderful. But this is also a most unlikely buddy movie, where the black/white pair team up as hustlers floating around the rougher areas of Los Angeles, turn on each other, and finally bury the hatchet to get Billy out of hock to some surprisingly obliging hoods. Sadly, in doing so, the duo alienate Billy's long-suffering Hispanic girlfriend (Perez), who dreams of the straight life and spends her time memorising trivia in hopes of a TV game show break. Snipes and Harrelson bounce off the screen like Michael Jordan, while Shelton and cinematographer Russell Boyd perfectly capture the agile thrills of the game itself. A double-whammy slam-dunker of a movie.
Cast and crew
Ernest Harden Jr