Jackie Moon is a star

Mikhail Chernyavsky

By 1976 Jackie Moon was still riding the wave of his hit single “Love Me Sexy.” With his newly-acquired small fortune Moon purchased the semi-pro American Basketball League team the Flint Tropics, and became not only the owner of the struggling franchise but also the head coach and starting power forward.

Will Farrell is back, yet again, with another sports spoof. This time Farrell mocks basketball, but don’t expect anything new. In fact, if you look close enough you can see the elements of a generic underdog story; ok, you can see it from a distance. The plot of the film is no marvel — it’s just a regurgitated formula.

There is a lazy protagonist. A problem comes along and disrupts the Zen of the protagonist’s lifestyle. In order to keep what he loves the protagonist must overcome the impossible by defeating the antagonist, who of course is far superior in whatever field the film takes place.

Moon is no acting stretch for Farrell, because this is the same character he has played in “Blades of Glory,” “Anchor Man: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” and “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby;” however, Moon is not as over-the-top as his previous characters. He seems to have some working brain cells. When questioned about his coaching abilities, Moon argued that he is not an “Xs” and “Os” coach that is about running plays, but rather a motivator that gets people to do great things.

The great thing Moon is trying to do is get his ABA Tropics to be one of the four teams to be kept alive in the merger with the NBA. To accomplish this task he must get his team to win just about every game, since it is ranked last in the league. On top of winning he must have a minimum of 2000 fans at every home game.

To fill the seats Moon takes on another roll – promoter. It is amusing seeing some of the tactics Moon enacts to fill the seats, such as fighting “Dewie the Killer Bear.”

To help the team, Moon trades the locker room washer to the Boston Celtics for Monix (Woody Harrelson). Monix’s subplot love story does not add much to the core of the film, but it does add a few gags of a creepy over-loving fan that is married to Monix’s ex-girlfriend, whom he is trying to win back.

Any fan of Farrell will enjoy this film. For those who are not as shell-shocked with admiration for the actor, expect a film similar to “Blades of Glory” with Farrell playing a Ron Burgundy-light.

With most of Farrell’s films, I find that the more you watch it, the more you enjoy it, which is the case for this film. The more I think about the film the more I laugh. This film is worth a watch, once in the theater and at least once on DVD.

Sure the film’s plot-line uses the underdog formula, and Farrell plays the same character as he does in all his mainstream movies, but in layman’s terms, it works. He has found a niche for himself that works. And, I look forward to watching this film again.

Mikhail Chernyavsky can be reached at [email protected]