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Like Mike

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Like Mike

Starring: Lil'Bow Wow, Jonathan Lipnicki
Director: John Schultz
Rated: PG
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: July 2002
Genres: Comedy, Sports, Kids

*Also starring: Morris Chestnut, Anne Meara, Da Brat, Crispin Glover, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson, Robert Forster, Jermaine Dupri, Eugene Levy

Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4

There's not much that's original in this Cinderella basketball story but that doesn't seem to diminish its juvenile appeal. Hip hop rapper Lil Bow Wow is Calvin Cambridge, a 4' 8" tall, hoops-loving 14 year-old orphan whose teacher, Sister Theresa (Anne Meara), gives him a pair of old Nikes inscribed on the tongue with the faded initials M.J.. Could this Salvation Army donation really have belonged to Michael Jordan? Suddenly, Calvin possesses the skills of an NBA player and miraculously becomes the star of a fictional team called the Los Angeles Knights. His specialty is a 30-foot jump and the conversion of 3-point shots. Morris Chestnut plays Tracey Reynolds, Calvin's incredulous on-the-road roommate and rival who, predictably, becomes his buddy and father substitute. Of course, there's a bizarre bad guy - that's Crispin Glover ("Charlie's Angels"), head of the Chesterfield Group Home, who rips off Calvin's earnings and burns the only snapshot Calvin's buddy, Jonathan Lipnicki ("Jerry Maguire," "Stuart Little"), has of his late mother. NBA players Allen Iverson, Chris Webber and Jason Kidd show up in cameos as Robert Forster ("Jackie Brown") and Eugene Levy ("Best in Show") play the Knights' coach and general manager, respectively. So where's the Michael Jordan cameo that would have been the real slam dunk? Not there. Too bad. And writers Michael Elliot & Jordan Moffet and director John Schultz go for the feel-good ending with unabashed schmaltz. "Take Ya Home" from the soundtrack is already big on MTV but, perhaps, with this vehicle, Shad 'Gregory' Moss can shed the Lil Bow Wow moniker and achieve a coming-of-age screen persona. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Like Mike" is a kid-friendly 5. And if you enjoy this, rent "Rookie of the Year" (1993).

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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