‘White Men Can’t Jump’ Is a Surprisingly Fun and Fresh Remake
4 out of 5 basketball hoops.
When you hear the words “Starring Jack Harlow,” you might not think that it’s a movie for you, but you’d be surprised by how incredibly fun the White Men Can’t Jump remake is. Directed by Calmatic, the film stars Harlow along with Sinqua Walls as Jeremy and Kamal (respectively), and it is the same sort of idea as the original. Jeremy (Harlow) has no money but loves to swindle people out of theirs. They think he’s a fool, but he shows them through his game that he’s actually great at basketball.
On the flip, there’s Kamal (Walls), who watched his ability as a basketball player go to waste because he constantly got in his own way. So when Jeremy and Kamal team up to try to win money for the ones they love while coming to terms with their own abilities and new life goal, we get to see how they grow as friends. What’s so shocking about the remake is Walls and Harlow’s chemistry in the film.
It’s easy to bring a friendship to life onscreen. The challenge is making your audience care about it, and White Men Can’t Jump manages to make Jeremy and Kamal’s friendship something worth watching. The two are both struggling and attempting to get their lives on track, which makes it easier to jump into their back and forth. We’re on their friendship journey just as they are, and it really is shocking how charming and good both Walls and Harlow are as Kamal and Jeremy.
But one of the aspects of the movie that really does work better than the original is the basketball, and that’s because of Walls and Harlow’s own skills.
Reworking a classic like White Men Can’t Jump
The friendship is what makes White Men Can’t Jump in both the remake and the original, but Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, while brilliant actors, were not basketball players. Walls and Harlow are, and it really does show throughout the movie. We get to see as the two of them show their skills as actors and basketball players. Kamal is a good father who tries to be the best husband to Imani (Teyana Taylor) he can be, and he’s struggling with the future his father (played by the late Lance Reddick) wanted for him and where he is.
It’s one of those movies where Calmatic could have given us the modern take that was basically just the same movie we already know. Instead, he’s brought us a fresh take on a similar tale, made it his own, and will bring an entirely new generation into White Men Can’t Jump. I loved seeing Walls and Harlow as Kamal and Jeremy, and I was shocked by how brilliantly the two played as friends.
They have a kind of easy chemistry to their roles that you can’t fake, and it makes for an easy watch and one that fans will definitely love.
White Men Can’t Jump lands on Hulu on May 19 and is well worth the watch!
(featured image: 20th Century Studios)
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