How do you keep a basketball movie like Uncle Drew, based on a commercial, from becoming a full length Pepsi ad? Embrace the love. Embrace the cliche of basketball legends playing lightly disguised geriatric versions of common black stereotypes found in any Tyler Perry comedy.
Director Charles Stone III let’s his all star team (Kyrie Irving, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson and Lisa Leslie) take the ball and run with it in every way. Lil Rey Howery and Nick Kroll as warring coaches with a long personal history and grudge add valuable comic support for the veterans to bounce off and hone their performances. Everyone looks like their having fun.
Sure Uncle Drew can’t help to come off looking like a Harlem Globetrotters highlight reel. After all, the glorified exhibition tourney is there to show these stars love of the game.
As Uncle Drew wisely notes “You don’t get old playing the game. You get old when you stop playing the game.”