Starring: Martin Lawrence, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Breckin Meyer, Horatio Sanz, Megan Mullally
Director: Steve Carr
What do you get when you take the director of “Daddy Day Care,” throw in Martin Lawrence, and settle for a PG rating? The answer is a 90 minute nap. “Rebound,” Lawrence’s latest, is nothing more than a misguided attempt to water down Martin’s humor to appeal to a younger audience. The result is Martin’s worst movie to date, and that’s saying a lot.
“Rebound” centers on Roy McCormick, a Bobby Knight-esque college basketball coach who, after having a public meltdown during a game, is banned from the league. Having burned too many bridges, his agent, played by the slightly amusing Breckin Meyer, convinces Roy to take a job coaching the basketball team at his former middle school. Roy is of course a shallow, selfish jerk, and the basketball team is of course a motley crew of lovable losers that can’t play basketball to save their lives; the predictable and formulaic outcome being that, through each other, Roy becomes a better man, and the team miraculously becomes state champions.
Even Martin’s hardcore fans will find little to like about “Rebound.” Rated PG, the movie is obviously geared towards children, and the censored Martin is so pitifully constrained it’s painful to watch. The film is light-hearted fare, so perhaps younger kids may find Martin’s stupid faces and characters funny. Perhaps a father or older brother would want to share their love of Martin with their child or sibling without subjecting them to morally reprehensible films such as “Bad Boys II.” But why bother with this drivel?
“Rebound,” at best, is a hastily and shoddily constructed money-grabber. The movie has endless plot holes that stick out like a sore thumb. The performances are below average, with the supporting cast consisting of B-listers and second tier “Saturday Night Live” cast members. The kids on the basketball team are cute, and Megan Mellally (“Will and Grace”) is humorous as the quirky principal of the school, but the story offers nothing original or anything remotely close to consistent laughs.
Indeed, Martin’s career seems to be fading fast. Next up for the actor is a sequel to “Big Momma’s House,” Martin’s surprise hit from five years ago. This might seem to be a great idea to some, but if “Rebound” is any indication, Martin fans may be waiting a long time to laugh again.
The DVD release of "Rebound" doesn't offer much in the special features section, but can you really blame Fox for skimping out on this summer comedy flop? Along with the film's theatrical trailer, storyboards, and an alternated ending, the only truly bonus content is an audio commentary with the film's screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, but seriously, who really cares?