He Got Game

Bomb Rating: 

It's time for Spike Lee to go back to NYU and relearn all the crap he's obviously forgotten.

It's time for Spike Lee to go back to NYU and relearn all the crap he's obviously forgotten. "He Got Game" is insulting and cowardly, which are about the two least likely things one would ever expect from even the most offensive Spike Lee film.

Why is it cowardly? Because Lee is trying to blame big-time college basketball for creating a world where a sport has become a business and people like Jesus Shuttlesworth (Ray Allen) are no better than pawns in a commercial chess game, while at the same time infusing his film with cameos by every recognizable college basketball coach in the nation and a few cute ESPN segments.

Why is it insulting? One scene tells it all: Jesus and his cousin, Booger (Hill Harper), are given a lift by their buddy, Big Time Willie (Roger Guenveur Smith), who proceeds to give them a lecture on all the pressures Jesus will likely face, only Jesus has already faced them. His dad (Denzel Washington), a former convict, is sure making his life hell. Willie goes on about women and money and heroin and we wonder: who the hell is he talking to? He can't be talking to Jesus because Jesus already knows all this. So who's he talking to? I guess every ignorant fool in the audience.

Hey, I may be a fool, but I'll be damned if I'll have anybody tell me that I'm ignorant after they've just spent an hour showing me what they're now telling me. It's called being redundant, and it's like having to watch the same episode of "Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher" twice in a row: if you don't get it the first time, you're not likely to be enlightened the second. To paraphrase Iain Banks: pander to stupidity and you start thinking like an idiot.

Spike Lee is now making films like one.

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