Starring: Wesley Jonathan, Anthony Mackie, Wayne Brady, Eva Pigford
Director: Preston A. Whitmore III
There are dumb movies and then there is “Crossover,” a movie so devoid of logic it will leave you astounded. The film centers around two lifetime friends, Tech and Cruise, hustling and chasing their dreams in Detroit. Tech (Anthony Mackie) is an underground streetballer with a temper, while Cruise (Wesley Jonathan) is the more mild mannered of the two with aspirations of being a doctor, despite being a prospect for the NBA.
Tech recruits Cruise for an underground basketball game, something that if found out could threaten Cruise’s college scholarship, but Cruise agrees because of their “friendship” and what Cruise sees as a debt he owes Tech for looking out for him when they were kids. From an onlooker’s perspective, this relationship seems more like extortion than anything else, but let’s digress.
The two meet Vaughn (Wayne Brady), a businessman/thug who makes a living setting up underground streetball games and, more legitimately, as the proprietor of a nightclub. Predictably, Brady attempts a pathetic, and utterly failing, attempt to gain some street cred by giving us a slightly watered down version of his now infamous, albeit hilarious, “Chapelle’s Show” skit in which he subjects Dave to a night of hell as he is revealed to be a cold-blooded gangsta. Vaughn makes numerous attempts to be Cruise’s agent and direct avenue to a lucrative NBA contract, but Cruise, wary of his motives and focused on his goal of going to school in California and becoming a doctor, continually turns him down.
It’s around this time when “Crossover” loses its own focus. The film flips time between a budding romance between Tech, Cruise and their newly acquired girlfriends, and a completely unnecessary and extraneous subplot about Tech and Up (Little JJ) running scams on local playgrounds for easy cash. If you’re still awake by the time the conclusion of this film comes along, you’ll wish you had stayed asleep. The resolution of “Crossover” will go down in history as one of the stupidest and most implausible endings in movie history, which will be revealed here for your own good.
Vaughn, trying to pressure Cruise into abandoning his dreams of being a doctor and joining the NBA, lets slip on purpose in front of Cruise’s pregnant girlfriend, Vanessa, that if anyone found out about the streetball game he played in, he would lose his scholarship and be forced to join the NBA. Cruise doesn’t bite, but Vanessa does. She squeals about the streetball game behind his back in an attempt to force him into professional basketball and Cruise loses his scholarship. Upset, Cruise goes to cry on his woman’s shoulder and reveals that he will still not join the NBA and that he will (ready for this?) go to local community college and study to be a doctor anyway. Never mind the fact that a year in the NBA would more than pay for college.
Understandably pissed off, Vanessa reveals that the baby she is carrying is not his after all, but that she “miscalculated” and the baby’s father is that of Tech’s streetball nemesis, Jewelz. Cruise, rather than dumping the ho, getting a paternity test, and going off to make millions in the NBA and then possibly leaving to pursue his dream of being a doctor, gets on his motorcycle and hits a car, thus ending his NBA prospects as well. But take heart. Tech goes on to finally defeat Jewelz in a meaningless streetball match finale, and rather than becoming Vaughn’s new goldenboy after the game, turns him down out of loyalty to Cruise.The attempt by the film’s director, Preston Whitmore, a native of Detroit himself, to show the city in a positive light by showing that the people there care more about loyalty and family, as opposed to money, is admirable. But all Whitmore really succeeds in doing is showing what stupid decisions the two main characters make. A quick “Where are they now?” recap before the end credits reveals that everyone gets what they deserve, but after watching such ridiculously bad decision-making by the characters throughout the film, it becomes a stretch to believe things wouldn’t end up in tragedy for everyone involved. It certainly ends that way for the audience.