Will Ferrell and his merry band of acolytes again prove there's nothing they won't do for laughs in their latest sports comedy, "Semi-Pro.”
The 1970s-era basketball parody is the third movie in which Farrell has played a dim-bulb professional athlete, following racing vehicle "Talladega Nights” and skating comedy "Blades of Glory.” Still, "Semi-Pro” has enough crazy gags to make it surprisingly funny.
Ferrell stars as Jackie Moon, a soul/pop singer with a prodigious afro and one hit single, "Love Me Sexy.” He pours the money from his lone hit into an American Basketball Association franchise, the fictional Flint, Mich., Tropics. The flamboyant performer becomes the Tropics' owner, coach, promoter and power-forward.
The team consists of other colorful characters, including egotistical star Clarence Withers (Andre Benjamin), naive country boy Twiggy Munson (Josh Braaten) and taciturn Lithuanian center Vakidis (Peter Cornell). Genial wimp Bobby Dee (Andy Richter) is Jackie's best buddy and team manager. The smarmy and hilariously inappropriate Lou Redwood (Will Arnett) and Dick Pepperfield (Andrew Daly) work as the team commentators.
With a dearth of talent and coaching, the Tropics languish in last place. Despite Jackie's wacky promotions, low attendance and team costs eat up his money.
When the ABA commissioner (David Koechner) announces that the league is merging with the National Basketball Association, Jackie believes his team's salvation is at hand. But only the top four ABA teams will join the NBA.
Desperate to save the Tropics, Jackie trades for former NBA benchwarmer Monix (Woody Harrelson), an ill-behaved and unpredictable player who has been shuffled to the ABA despite his high basketball IQ.