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  • Jennifer Green

Review: "White Men Can't Jump"

Uneven in its humor but driven by two solid central performances, this remake is sure to earn relentless comparisons with the original. White Men Can't Jump is also streaming in some territories on Disney+, which could mislead viewers into thinking the film has been toned down.

In fact, this Jump seems to be trying hard to be edgy, with music video director Calmatic at the helm, and it's sometimes successful. There's lots of verbal ribbing, as in the original, including some homophobic heckling and plenty of mutually racial taunts.


Much of the verbal jousting feels heavily scripted. Likewise, the banter between Harlow and Walls (and the back-up comedic pair of Myles Bullock and Vince Staples) doesn't always hit its mark, but there are occasional laugh-out-loud lines. The film has a definitive Black outlook -- White guy Jeremy, played by Harlow, is the odd man out, and the writing and directing team behind this version (unlike the original) is Black.


Jump's appeal relies heavily on enjoying the two main characters and believing the deeper connection between Jeremy and Kamal. Walls is a charismatic leading man, and Harlow makes an impressive feature film debut here, though he definitely seems more comfortable with comedy than drama. The film also has tender moments of father-son love, male bonding, and men realizing they need the support of their women.

 

Read the full review at CommonSenseMedia

Images courtesy of Hulu

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