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I want to be like mike...
Oct 08, 2003 05:18 AM 3108 Views
(Updated Oct 08, 2003 05:18 AM)





If you like sports based movies, enjoy basket ball and adore Michael Jordan, then you will enjoy Like Mike. It is a feel good movie and an entertainer all the way. I saw this for the first time on cable several weeks back and look forward to watching the re-runs – and the best part is you can start anywhere and end anywhere - it is like drinking from a stream of sheer delight.

The movie released in July 2002 and directed by John Schultz, lasts 100 minutes. I would give this a four out of five and is worth watching it again and again.

The Plot:

Calvin Cambridge (the rapper Lil Bow Wow) is a fourteen year old orphan. He has a passion for basket ball and spends countless hours practicing his hoops on the basketball court. His dream is to play in the NBA – and he knows that it will never happen as he is short and small and very poor.

A routine charity donation to the orphanage brings in a pair of old sneakers which has the initial MJ on the tongue – no marks for guessing who could that be – duh!. On a rainy night, Calvin tries to grab the sneakers from suspended electric wires and is struck my lightning – the sneakers become magical.

Calvin and his friend (Murph – of Little Stuart fame) manage to get tickets to the local basketball game featuring the LA Knights (no resemblance to the Lakers). At half time, as part of a local publicity stunt – Calvin gets chosen to play one-on-one against the Knights’ lead player – Tracey Reynolds (Morris Chestnut). The sneakers show their magic and Calvin is able to slam and dunk at will. Seeing this performance, Calvin gets to play in the NBA as a Knight.

The rest of the story deals with how Calvin develops friendship with Tracey and sees in him the potential of a father figure. In a typical last minute histrionics, with the game on the line – Calvin shows up in the second half and helps his team mates win the game. The games do show live cameos from Allen Iverson, Vince Carter and Jason Kidd.

The Performances:

# Lil Bow Wow as Calvin Cambridge. Before the movie I had not heard of him – he is supposed to be a famous rapper. He acted well and gave authenticity to the role – this was supposed to be his first role and he did well.

# Morris Chestnut as Tracey Reynolds. He paired well with Calvin and gave a convincing performance. His bonding with Calvin as the son he never had and patching up with his estranged father were poignant moments in the film.

# Murph as the friend of Calvin in the orphanage – he too gets to be adopted by Tracey. He has a small and cute role.

# Eugene Levy as the owner of the LA Knights – responsible for giving Calvin a chance to play. This was a typical “eugenesque” role with his own flair for comedy.

# Bittleman: The orphanage owner and the bad man. He tries to steal Calvins’ sneakers so that the Knights do not win as he has placed huge bets with the local bookies. He has a prominent stutter, which I thought added to the sleazy role.

If you get a chance, don’t miss it. It will do wonders to your mood.

Happy hooping….

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