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2005 - PG - 103 Mins.
Director: Steve Carr
Producer: Martin Lawrence and Robert Simonds
Written By: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Starring: Martin Lawrence, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Breckin Meyer, Horatio Sanz, Patrick Warburton, Megan Mullally
Review by: Joe Rickey
Official Site:

Can't you go a little faster?
A disgraced college basketball coach (Martin Lawrence) goes back to his roots after being banned for an incident that left the team mascot dead. In this case, going back to his roots involves coaching the basketball team at his old middle school. Needless to say, the team is a mess of gargantuan proportions and thus are going to need all the help he can give them.

'Daddy Day Care' director Steve Carr tries to do for Martin Lawrence's career what he did for Eddie Murphy's by teaming the comic up with a group of misfits (in this case ones that are a little older than the ones Murphy had to deal with) and letting the mishaps run amok. The aforementioned Murphy vehicle was a 100 million plus blockbuster. Will lightning strike twice with 'Rebound'?

While it remains to be seen whether the film will become a financial success, 'Rebound' manages to be a fun little film for those looking for inoffensive family entertainment. The film benefits from a script that, aside from a few throwaway moments, refuses the tendency to resort to humor having to do with bodily fluids and other such things; for this credit must go to screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (both making their feature film debuts). Maybe all it took was some new blood who didn't feel the need to go the overused route of resorting to gross-out jokes in an attempt to generate laughs. This makes it unlike Carr's 'Daddy Day Care', which lived and died based on gags having to do with all types of bodily fluids. Also bringing goodwill to the film are the performances of the cadre of young actors that comprise the titular basketball team. Each one of the young performers is obviously enjoying themselves and it shows in every scene in which they are present.

Of the older (read: non-child actors) Wendy Raquel Robinson ('Two Can Play That Game' and 'Miss Congeniality') as the mother of the team's star player and Breckin Meyer ('Garfield' and 'Road Trip') as Lawrence's overzealous agent make a positive impression. It then becomes a rather unfortunate ordeal to report that lead Martin Lawrence does the exact opposite of what Eddie Murphy did in 'Daddy Day Care' by sleepwalking through his role. Whereas Murphy perhaps went a little too over-the-top in the 2003 film (as he is wont to do at times), Lawrence seems content to exert as little visible effort (or interest) in the proceedings as is humanly possible. The phrase "Just cashing a paycheck" earns its validity with performances like the one Lawrence gives here. Joining him in the paycheck category include Horatio Sanz (of "Saturday Night Live" fame) as Lawrence's assistant coach, Megan Mullally (television's "Will & Grace") as the school principal, and Patrick Warburton ('Men in Black II') as the coach of the school's arch-rival.

So where does that leave 'Rebound' as a family friendly option in a summer of high octane action films? Well, in the opinion of this reviewer it does just enough right through comic restraint and youthful exuberance to earn a slight recommendation although someone please inform Martin Lawrence that the audience would appreciate it if from now on he could at least feign interest while "acting"?
Movie Guru Rating
Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not.
  3 out of 5 stars

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