Opening: September 20, 2018
Directed by: Charles Stone III
Writing credits: Jay Longino
Principal actors: Kyrie Irving, Lil Rel Howery, Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, Lisa Leslie
Nothing seems to come right for amateur basketball coach Dax (Lil Rel Howery). His team is losing; his best players are being lured away by his rival Mookie (Nick Kroll), who also steals his girlfriend Jess (Tiffany Haddish) after she kicked him out of their mutual home. Haunted by his previous failures, Dax is roaming the streets trying to get a new team together. When he meets the well-known streetball legend Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving), now in his seventies, he is impressed how well he still handles the ball. Dax feels this is his last hope for getting to the Rucker Classic Tournament for which he already spent his life's savings as entrance fee. In desperation he makes a deal with the old man who agrees but only when playing with his former old buddies. The two embark on a road trip in Uncle Drew's fully fitted camper car collecting Preacher (Chris Webber), who gladly runs from his crazy bat-swinging wife (played by WNBA star Lisa Leslie). She is no weak lady giving them a screaming car chase. Star shooter Lights (Reggie Miller) with his dark glasses is officially blind but immediately agrees to join. Next comes senile looking Boots (Nate Robinson) in a wheel chair who miraculously catches the ball thrown by Drew. The last in the round is Big-Fella (Shaquille O'Neal). He is a martial-arts teacher and still holds a grudge against Drew who, long time ago, spent a night with his now deceased wife. Eventually, Fella agrees to join the team to make it to the Rucker street basketball stadium.
They start playing in tournaments and are off to a good start until there is more discontent between Fella and Drew. After Drew apologizes, Fella can forgive him at long last. The entire team enjoys time together on the dance floor, romance blossoms for coach Dax, everyone is ready for the big game.
Uncle Drew is based on the popular commercial series that Kyrie Irving started for Pepsi some years ago. Pepsi produced the movie by getting five basketball icons together posing as "old men". What a pity that only toward the end of the film, the audience gets to see a real basketball performance. The five main actors are all top-class professionals (read about their awesome careers on Wikipedia). If you overlook the weak script and directing as well as the make-up of the energetic sportsmen, you might enjoy the crazy and quirky characters and the rather unbelievable situations. The credits at the end are worthwhile to watch. It shows the laborious transformation of the athletes into old men. (Birgit S.)