Thursday, June 2, 2016

He Got Game

A prisoner (Denzel Washington) currently serving out a manslaughter rap for the accidental death of his wife is given a proposal from the warden: during a week's furlough, convince his estranged son (Ray Allen), the nation's top recruiting hoops prospect, to sign with the governor's favorite college and earn himself an early parole. He Got Game is overlong, obvious, and made with the same explicit racism that mars many of Spike Lee's films. The movie tries to cover too much thematically without conveying much of anything, Allen, at the time a sensation with the Milwaukee Bucks, is an impossibly bad actor, and the ending is anticlimactic. In its defense, the picture is well filmed with several powerful scenes and the Aaron Copland soundtrack is a really nice touch.  Also, it contains what I personally found to be one of the truly fine and nuanced performances from Washington's career.
** 1/2 out of ****