Martin Lawrence stars as an arrogant ass-face of a college basketball coach, who finds himself unemployable after a moronic outburst, and is therefore, logically, forced to coach a middle-school team full of losers, whiners, and pukers.
Frankly I don't think this review needs to be any longer than that.
But seeing as how Martin Lawrence has seen fit to fill my life with cinematic detritus like Black Knight, National Security, Blue Streak, Big Momma's House, and now Rebound, I figure a little payback is only fair.
Long since past the point where he has anything comedic left to offer the world, Martin Lawrence is an absolute black hole of comedy. The many times I recommended his concert films are nothing now but hazy memories, all but forgotten by a six-movie string of laziness, desperation, and outright ineptitude. The guy simply is not trying, and his perpetually mugging presence in any film is reason enough for you to simply give up cinema as a hobby and take up toenail collecting.
Simply put: I'm not a fan. But since there truly was such a time when I considered Martin Lawrence a seriously funny fellow, I reluctantly give his movies a shot -- on the off chance that he might actually put forth some effort the next time out.
Clearly, Lawrence had little to worry about on the set of Rebound, because it's pretty clear that nobody involved in the production was putting forth much effort. This is only the 542nd rehash of the Bad News Bears formula, which begs an interesting question for the movie geeks: Is one certifiable classic really worth three decades of brain-deadening copycats?
Anyway, the screenplay is a moldy collection of familiar conceits: the egotistic ass-face slowly grows a heart, the loser kids gain some confidence, win, and smile; a mawkish and unwelcome romantic subplot rears its flaccid head; the mild antagonist does what he can to ruin the day; and there's a predictably sunny finale before minute 85 ticks off the running time.
Frankly I wouldn't be surprised if Rebound was written, shot, edited, and released over the course of ... let's be generous and say three weeks. The flick is chintzy-looking and stupidly simplistic, it's lame and drab, and it's simply not all that funny. And the worst part isn't that the leading man simply doesn't care; it's that his fading star status indicates he overpower every single scene - while a few colorful kids and funny folks like Patrick Warburton, Megan Mullaly, and Alia Shakwat are all but pounded right out of the celluloid.
But hey, whatever keeps Martin paid in between Bad Boys and Big Momma sequels, right?
Video: Choose between an anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) or full-frame format. Either way you're getting two or three mild chuckles, maximum.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, DD 2.0 Spanish, or DD 2.0 French. Optional subtitles are available in English and Spanish. Audio quality is fine, which means the non-stop pop hits (from 11 years ago) come through in fine form.
Extras: You'll get an audio commentary with first-time screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, in which the guys ramble on in dry tones about which scenes got cut and how great everyone on-set was. Fascinating stuff. (I almost gave up when they opined that Martin Lawrence was the "only comedian" who could play this role. Dear lord.)
Also included is a pointless alternate ending, a few storyboards, some trailers (for Rebound, The Sandlot 2, Like Mike, Fat Albert, Fantastic Four, Like Mike 2, and Dr. Dolittle 3), and an Inside Look at (you guessed it) Big Momma's House 2.
It took two credited screenwriters and three different "story by" contributors to concoct a movie that's been done at least four dozen times before ... for a self-adoring comedian known for making his material up on the spot. Hollywood's a crazy place.