Monday, February 25, 2008


I’m 31 and white, so I’m not exactly the target audience for the film. I’m sure there will be people who enjoy Crossover, but I’m not one of them. Although there is a nice message hidden deep, deep, deep, deep down in the film, under bad writing and even worse acting, the film just isn’t worth the time it would take you to stand in a one person line to buy your ticket.

Noah Cruise (Wesley Jonathan) is a good kid. He does his homework, he loves his grandma, he has a good job, he’s polite and kind, and he sticks by his friends. Oh, and he’s the next big thing in basketball, except he doesn’t want to be.

Cruise would rather everyone quit the NBA talk and let him go to UCLA on a basketball scholarship to become a doctor. His life is on track until his longtime friend Tech (Anthony Mackie) asks him for a little favor.

Tech knows about this secret underground basketball league, run by a former NBA agent (Wayne Brady), and wants nothing more than to beat the reigning champs. Tech pulls his friend into the game calling on an old favor and puts Cruise’s future and life in jeopardy.

Once into the world Cruise is tempted by money, a sexy gold-digging girlfriend (Eva Pigford), and is frightened that his scholarship might get revoked due to his playing in the underground league. What will he do?

The main problem is we don’t care what Cruise does. The characters are thinly written and even more poorly acted. The film has a good message about putting off money and fame to explore education and learning. It’s a nice lesson that is almost completely swallowed up by this awful film. The women must have been chosen for their sex appeal because their acting has no appeal whatsoever. Think high school drama class, freshman year, first day.

Even the lone recognizable figure in the film, Wayne Brady, is horribly miscast as the straight man instead of giving him a role to use his comedy and vaudevillian skills. Why would you cast the single talented funny man to play the morose wannabe gangster?

The league itself is ridiculous. It’s the set of an ESPN-2 game show with full stands, cheerleaders, and constant betting; yet it’s somehow a big secret. Yeah, right. I’m sure the only cop in L.A. that patrols that beat is happy with his small bribe and no one else even notices. Sorry, but a tiny bit of realism is called for - you know like you’d find in Commando or Time Bandits (which really make this film look like a fantasy, of a mentally retarded teenager mind you, but still a fantasy).

The Diagnosis
The film looks and feels cheap, is poorly put together, badly acted, and is just a waste of time and money. This is a classic example of what happens when you take a bunch of television actors and a flimsy script and throw money at it. Those involved just can’t handle the demands of a theatrical film. Once you see it projected the flaws are not large to ignore. Just crossover to the next theater and see what’s playing, no matter what it is, as long as it doesn’t star the Duff girls you’re in for a better time

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