MOVIE REVIEW: The Longshots

Ice Cube and Fred Durst (of Limp Bizkit) want you to take them

seriously, yet Keke Palmer just wants to keep showing her skills. In The

Longshots, all three - Durst, the films director, Ice Cube, its producer

and co-star and its leading lady, Palmer - get a chance to spread their

wings. Due to release nationwide this weekend, The Longshots is the

truest underdog story. Nobody expects much from Curtis Plummer (Cube)

or Jasmine (Palmer); both were content in his or her own little worlds

existing but not really making any marks on the world. By chance,

Jasmine's mom, Claire, portrayed by my new favorite home girl Tasha

Smith, needed someone to step in to watch her 11-year old daughter. Her

uncle, Curtis, just happens to be the best choice; at least he's her

blood. Agreeing reluctantly, Curtis tries to connect to his niece; but

with football and beer as options for conversation, he's limited.

Jasmine doesn't make it easy on him. "You smell!" was her favorite

phrase; so believably played by real life 14-year old Palmer. As an

unenthused, hard-to-impress, yet mild teenager, Palmer, again outdid

herself by gracefully playing a girl on and off the field.

The juice, of course, comes when Curtis sparks Jasmine's interest in

playing football. You could look into her eyes and see she was

intrigued about learning something new – that a girl can be a

quarterback and take her team to the Superbowl. Yes, the real

Superbowl. The films' on-the-field shots were reasonably pulled off yet

nothing as spectacular as Any Given Sunday. However, when Jasmine was

under her helmet, no one would be able to tell that she was a girl. It

made for added drama; when she'd throw the ball so forcefully, you could

feel the tale wind in the movie theater. Jasmine's development into

being a strong football team member were some of the most riveting

scenes, because it allowed both Palmer and Cube to first bond as a team

of two. He believed in her and her skills even before she did. This isn't the first time Cube and Palmer have been a team. Cube

Productions hired Palmer for her very first acting part in 2002 in the

sequel, Barbershop 2, as Queen Latifah's niece who riffs with Cedric

the Entertainer of a mini grilled hamburger. Six years and several

films later, The Longshots, again, allowed both exceptional artists a

chance to take their mentor and mentee bond to a higher level.

Thankfully, you can see their growth. On screen, it seems real, as real

as most underdogs. And this is a real story; the story of Ms. Jasmine Plummer who just a

few years ago, took The Minden Browns, a losing local team to the

national championship as their first string star quarterback. The

Longshots is really an amazing story; not just for football fans but

for anybody who roots for the underdog.

The movie is not so serious that you can't appreciate the characters'

exceptional performances; comical enough to keep your attention yet

moving enough that you want them to win. You'll appreciate the

neighborhood of misfits that join in on the fun as the Minden Browns go

from a nobody team to national contenders. Check out scenes with

comedians Earthquake and Michael Colyar, who play Carl and Ennis,

respectively with zest and humanity. You'll also recognize Garrett

Morris portraying the local minister whose church help raise the money

for the Browns to make the championship game in style. Jill Marie Jones

portrays Plummers' school crush, youthfully and with innocent sex

appeal. Their on-screen spark made the film seem almost vintage. Take your kids to see The Longshots. You never can tell when another movie will come around that actually motivates them to do something they

never thought could be done.