He Got Game (1998)


“I pray you understand why I pushed you so hard! It was only to get you to that next level, Son. I mean, you’s the first Shuttlesworth that’s ever gonna make it out of these projects, and I was the one who who put the ball in your hand, Son! I put the ball in your crib!” – Jake

Number of Times Seen – 1 (26 Nov 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A man serving time in prison is released for a week in order to convince his Basketball star son to sign with the alma mater of the Governor of the state.

My Take on it – This film has a pretty unique and interesting premise that just doesn’t work very well.

The film deals with the issue of payments and presents to high school sports stars by top universities and how they are almost always willing to skirt the rues and laws in order to try and get the top prospects to sign with them.

Denzel Washington is ok in the lead but doesn’t manage to bring enough to the role for us to actually care about hos character or how and why he got to where he is which is quite unfortunate.

The dynamics between Washington and Ray Allen who plays his son is actually quite weak but that is essentially the way things should be because f their disconnect.

Unfortunately, this story and its premise just aren’t powerful enough.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that doesn’t work as well as it probably should. They deal really well with the idea of how much high school basketball stars are pursued by top universities even while skirting the rules and laws. Washington is ok in the lead here and doesn’t manage to bring enough to this role that would make the viewer care more about him. The dynamics between Washington and Allen work well since they are not suppose to have nice chemistry together.  The story isn’t so powerful and doesn’t work well enough.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Spike Lee originally wanted Kobe Bryant to play the part of Jesus Shuttlesworth. While Kobe liked the script, and the idea of working with Spike, he had just finished his rookie year in the NBA (the 1996-97), and had shot several airballs in a brutal playoff loss by the Lakers to the Utah Jazz, and planned a workout program that would help him maintain his strength through the longer NBA seasons (a major adjustment, as Kobe went straight from high school to the pros). So he told Spike the summer of 1997 was too important to spend time making the film, and Spike promptly sought out Ray Allen, who quickly accepted the lead role. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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One thought on “He Got Game (1998)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1998 |

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