InsidePulse DVD Review – Like Mike 2: Streetball


Credit: Amazon.com

Director:

David Nelson

Starring:

Jascha Washington ………. Jerome
Kel Mitchell ………. Ray
Brett Kelly ………. Rodney
Micah Williams ………. Nathan
Michael Beach ………. Jerome Jenkens, Sr.
Enuka Okuma ………. Lydia
Moneca Delain ………. Lexi Lopez

The Movie

I know what you are thinking. A sequel to Like Mike. Was that really necessary? The first film was entertaining and it did star Lil’ Bow Wow before he became Bow Wow. But the premise was a little unrealistic. A young boy finds a pair of “magical” shoes with the letters “MJ” inside of them. The boy believes they must have been Michael Jordan’s shoes and then the shoes get struck by lightning. As a result, they make the boy play basketball better. In fact, just as good as Michael Jordan. The NBA takes notices and give him a chance to play. The plot was fine..up until he goes to the NBA. That is unrealistic. Okay..finding shoes that make you play better are unrealistic as well, but there is no way the NBA would allow a kid to play..not that young as least. Still Like Mike was entertaining enough and a fun, family movie. But a sequel was not needed.

Like Mike 2 is a direct-to-DVD sequel and that means that it is really just a lower-budget remake of the first film. It’s not a sequel at all. You basically have the same plot and story with new characters and actors and a new environment.

Jerome Jenkens Jr. is a regular pre-teen boy. He plays basketball on the streets and dreams of bigger things. However, his dreams don’t really mean going to the NBA. Jerome is a son of local basketball legend on the streets that he has grown up on. Unfortunately, Jerome’s dad is known as “The Choker” now after he choked in a crucial game and failed to make it to the NBA. Triple J is now trying to erase that memory from everyone’s minds and become the king of his neighborhood court. He’ll do anything to be king, but it’s not easy since he’s too young, too short, and too slow. Lucky for Jerome, he finds a pair of basketball sneakers up on a power pole one day. Of course, it has the letters “MJ” inside of it. And they get struck by lightning one night. That transforms them into “magical” shoes once again. The ones that make you play basketball better and just like Michael Jordan. Yep..the basic story is the same, but the names have all changed.

Bow Wow is gone. This movie was filmed on only $5 million dollars. They couldn’t afford Bow Wow..four years later. If they could, this film may have been in theaters. That’s still doubtful, though. What we have in this film is a new lead in Jascha Washington, who has been in both of the Big Momma’s House films. And he is very likable. He may even be a better actor than Bow Wow..at least the same level. He doesn’t have the “star” power like Bow Wow, but he does a great job. Jerome’s two friends and parents do their jobs well. And Cousin Ray (Kel from ‘Keenan and Kel’) does an okay job as the “bad guy”. None of these roles are anything special, but they are good enough. Nothing too offensive to weigh down the movie, except for some of the stereotypical streetballers in the film.

I actually thought this “new” story, or should I say new environment, was better and more believable than the original movie. Streetball is all the rage right now. The And 1 mix tapes are hot sellers and the tour ran around the country. People pay to go see “professional” streetballers “break ankles” and all the other fancy moves they do on the street courts. You could never do most of that stuff in the NBA and that’s the point. They are different. They were not good enough to get into the NBA. Although, some will say that the two worlds are different. Streetballers don’t want to be NBA stars..they just want respect from NBA stars. And I agree. It’s all basketball, but the things they are allowed to do in each league are totally different. And because of that having a young kid in the streetball world is a little more believable than the NBA since streetball is not as “professional” as the NBA. Yes..they are still “magic” shoes, but at least it is slightly more believable.

The movie may be about basketball and more specifically..streetball, but the heart of the film is about the father/son relationship and how sports brings that relationship together sometimes. Jerome’s father is always away on business trips. He never had time to play basketball with his son. That would be a sad thing anyways, since the father never has time for the son, but since the father is known for his basketball skills..it’s makes it extra hard on the son when the father never has time to play the sport they both love. They never have a chance to bond. Jerome’s father always seems to disappoint him. This is not an original concept in a movie, but I’m glad it’s in this one since it adds to the overall value of the movie.

This is no sequel. This is a simple remake, but it is on par with the first film. The thing that brings the movie down is the just average acting and the fact that it’s a rip-off of several different things including the basic plot from the first film and the entire “Open Run” for the fake “Game On” streetball league. You can watch the real And 1 shows on ESPN and you will see the same thing. Except for the “magic” shoes and the 12-year old kid. Still..the film is entertaining enough for younger viewers, especially if they are fans of the streetball form of basketball.

STORY: 4/10
ACTING: 4/10
ORIGINALITY: 1/10
LOOK/FEEL: 8/10
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 5/10

TOTAL POINTS: 22/50
FINAL SCORE: 4.5

The Video:

The video is given in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen color. Transfer is decent with minimal distortion. No real problems here.

The Audio:

The audio included is available in English Dolby 5.1 Surround sound, Spanish Dolby Surround sound, or French Dolby Surround sound. No problems here either. There are English and Spanish subtitles as well.

The Extras:

Featurettes
There are three of these called Making Like Mike 2, We’re Playing Basketball, and Streetball. These are very informative and are good behind-the-scenes looks at the film. Interesting to note that this was filmed in Canada and they used local streetball legends in the film. They are all relatively short, but combined they are a good feature.

Deleted Scenes
There are a handful of these and all of them add nothing to the film, which is why they were cut. Nothing special really and not required viewing. Usual stuff.

Score: 6/10