Boogie – R – 1 hr 30 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Thursday March 4, 2021
AMC Lakewood 12 – Lakewood, Washington
10th new movie seen in theater in 2021
Alfred “Boogie” Chin (Taylor Takahashi) is a talented basketball player that transfers to a school where he can face off against the future NBA phenom “Monk” and his team. Boogie must learn to be a team player, despite being the best player on his “trash” team while also navigating through being an Asian man racially stereotyped as unable to play basketball at a high level.
First, the good: this isn’t a typical sports movie. Always enjoy giving points for creativity. Some of the camera shots like the extreme close-ups on the eyes to measure emotions. The run time is good, it doesn’t hang around too long, but with all the different stories. The fact that two actors named Taylor of opposite sex are romantically involved — admittedly, it’s Taylor and Taylour — is one of those odd IMDB facts that make the movie after the fact a little more enjoyable. We were never bored with the film, because there are so many stories in one. It’s like each scene is introducing another layer upon layer. The setup was good.
The payoff? Not so much.
Yes, now, the not so good. It’s multiple types of movies in one and switches between them often too clumsily: 1) a dramatic character coming of age high school getting a college scholarship because we’re poor story, 2) an interracial romance and all the stupid society acceptance conflicts, 3) an underdog basketball team (David vs. Goliath). The worst sin this movie commits is an ending that just doesn’t resolve everything setup. Heck, it doesn’t even resolve enough of the stories. Everything doesn’t have to be resolved, but major plot points sure do.
Without spoiling, since this is a non-spoiler review, and ending isn’t something in a story, it’s everything. You have to tie up the story we spent an hour and a half watching. The payoff needs to be both satisfying and somewhat surprising. If it’s predictable, cliched, stupid or doesn’t resolve the conflicts, it makes us feel like we were ripped off watching.
I know, I know, it’s the artistic ending. The make you think about everything you watched ending. That works with some stories, but not this one. We touched on this a little bit as we left the theater. Again, when we’re talking a non-spoiler review we can’t tell you specifically what we hated about the ending, but neither of us liked that aspect of the film.
As for the rest of the movie? We were entertained and for a date night, sometimes that’s enough at the movies. We probably are being generous giving this three stars, but it had a lot creative potential, but it’s too many stories in one movie, unfortunately. Maybe catch this on the streaming circuit, but it’s not recommended to see in the theater. The reality is there are better basketball movies, better romances and better high school fish out of water socially acceptance movies (Superbad!).
Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (Kara)