Review: Lackluster Remake of ‘White Men Can’t Jump’ Falls Flat

The 1992 film “White Men Can’t Jump” may not be considered a classic, but the chemistry between its lead stars, Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, made it memorable in ’90s pop culture. However, the remake fails to capture the livewire energy of the original, with Sinqua Walls and Jack Harlow unable to replicate the captivating dynamic. Let’s dive into the dully conceived and low-energy remake that shoots an airball.
White Men Can’t Jump 2023

In the remake, Sinqua Walls plays Kamal, a former high school basketball star whose promising career was derailed by his bad temper and overbearing father (dedicated to the late Lance Reddick). Jack Harlow portrays Jeremy, a player whose dreams were shattered by knee injuries. Jeremy seeks a quick solution through regenerative stem cells to make one last attempt at a professional basketball career.

Mismatched Duo and Lackluster Script:

Walls and Harlow’s on-screen pairing lacks the spark and chemistry of their predecessors. Their characters clash initially, with Jeremy favoring Paul Thomas Anderson films while Kamal leans towards Spike Lee’s works. Eventually, they unite to hustle opponents and pursue their individual aspirations, while subtly addressing contemporary race relations. Unfortunately, the screenplay by Kenya Barris and Doug Hall, known for their work on “black-ish,” lacks depth and fails to deliver drama. Moreover, Walls and Harlow’s performances lack the necessary vigor to revive the stagnant material. Even the on-court action falls flat.

Direction and Filmmaking:

Music video director turned feature filmmaker Charles “Calmatic” Kidd II helms this remake, which marks his second attempt at reshaping ’90s classics after the disappointing “House Party” retelling earlier this year. However, his execution falters once again, offering a feeble rendition that fails to capture the essence of the original. Some things are better left in the past, and Kidd’s attempt to revive these VHS-era favorites falls short.

White Men Can’t Jump Cast 2023:

Sinqua Walls – Kamal
Jack Harlow – Jeremy
Lance Reddick – Benji
Teyana Taylor – Imani
Laura Harrier – Tatiana
Myles Bullock – Renzo
Vince Staples – Speedy
Zak Steiner – Phillip Williamson
J. Alphonse Nicholson – Jermaine
Aiden Shute – Drew
Bentley Green – Jacoby
Andrew Schulz – TJ
James Earl – Mooch

Don’t miss the premiere of “White Men Can’t Jump” on May 19, exclusively on Hulu. The film is rated R.

The lackluster remake of “White Men Can’t Jump” fails to capture the spirit and energy of the original film. Sinqua Walls and Jack Harlow lack the charisma and chemistry of their predecessors, resulting in a dull and uninspiring on-screen dynamic. The screenplay’s weak writing by Kenya Barris and Doug Hall, along with timid performances, contribute to the overall mediocrity of the film. Even the on-court action lacks excitement. Director Charles “Calmatic” Kidd II’s execution proves feeble once again, leaving audiences longing for the original. The remake is a disappointing airball that pales in comparison to its predecessor.

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