It's 1976 and Jackie Moon (Will Ferrell) is on top of the world. He made a fortune with his one-hit wonder, "Do Me Sexy" and used part of his earnings from the song to buy a professional basketball team, the Flint (as in Michigan)Tropics in the American Basketball Association (ABA). Jackie is the owner, promoter, coach, and one of the team's star players. All of Jackie's dreams seem to be coming true when at the latest owners meeting it is announced that the NBA is going to merge with the ABA. However, only the top four teams in the ABA will be enfolded in the new organization and the rest will cease to exist. Jackie's Tropics have one of the worst records in the ABA and there doesn't seem like there is any way that the Tropics will even finish close to the top four. After all, Jackie might be the coach and one of the starting players for the Tropics, but he's not a very good coach and is only an average player. However, Determined not to let his players down or his mama, Jackie sets out to bring about one of the largest turn-arounds in sports history, starting by trading the team's washing machine for one of the former great players of the ABA, Monix (Woody Harrelson).
SEMI-PRO starts out promising enough, opening with Will Ferrell singing the song "Do Me Sexy" which forces the audience to remember who funny Ferrell can be when he's got great material. The movie is directed by Kent Alterman and was written by Scot Armstrong, two individuals who have had experience working on past Ferrell movies. Unfortunately, the film really doesn't live up to expectations. Instead of being a full-fledged farce, the film turns into a farcical drama. The cast is rather exceptional, especially Andre Benjamin as Clarence "Coffee" Black; I also though Woody Harrelson as Monix and I haven't like anything Harrelson's done since he was Woody on CHEERS. There are some great laughs in the movie, such as when the team is dressed up in costumes preparing for a halftime musical extravaganza and when Jackie Moon wrestles a real bear. Yet, overall, much of the humor in SEMI-PRO isn't very funny; there's a lot of stuff that happens that could have been funny, but just isn't. Instead many of the jokes are just plain stupid and rather lame.
Overall, the movie is better Will Ferrell comedy than BLADES OF GLORY, but isn't as good ANCHORMAN or TALLADEGA NIGHTS. By the way, for a little bit of trivia, all of the team names and uniforms of the teams in SEMI-PRO, except the Flint Tropics, are the same as they were in the real ABA.
The special "Let's Get Sweaty" DVD version is chock-full of extras.
Short Attention Span Summary (SASS): Time: The `70s 1. Will Ferrell plays Jackie Moon, a one hit wonder who owns, coaches and plays with his basketball team the Flint Tropics. 2. As you would expect, the team isn't doing very well 3. Down and out, but not giving up, Moon negotiates a chance for his team to join the NBA 4. Maybe white men can't jump, but he trades a major appliance for Ed Monnix (Woody Harrelson) … more
It must have been sophomore week. `Meet The Spartans (Rated)' and `Semi-Pro' were both released on June 3rd making them top competitors for the cheesiest comedy of the week. Which one won is beyond the scope of my judgment, but both films had their moments, and both qualify for contenders of the year. `Semi-Pro' stars Will Ferrell, so we know partly what to expect of the material, but the quality is in position we're to pose during the field of play. Ferrell plays Jackie … more
The 1970s are back in all their excessive glory inSemi-Pro, an uneven but not uninspired Will Ferrell comedy about a professional basketball team that puts more energy into insane promotional schemes than playing well on the court. Ferrell stars as Jackie Moon, a former pop sensation who made enough money from a couple of hit records (the biggest: "Love Me Sexy") to buy Flint, Mich.'s the Tropics, a disorganized bunch of losers with one genuine talent named Coffee Black (Andre J. Benjamin). Despite knowing little about the game, Jackie is the Tropics' coach as well as a player, though his greater love is in coming up with such bizarre marketing stunts as wrestling a bear and attempting a motorcycle jump over a line of cheerleaders. When the Tropics look like they might be shut down, Jackie desperately agrees to let washed-up veteran player Monix (Woody Harrelson) take over coaching, turning the team's fortunes around--just a bit. The film's thin premise opens the floodgates to a series of absurd vignettes that suit Ferrell's silly-satiric brand of frat humor very well. There are choice moments, such as Jackie's table-shoving tantrum at a meeting of team owners (presided over by an aghast but tolerant commissioner, adroitly played by David Koechner), and his rapid escape from the Tropics' arena when he realizes everyone in the stands has won free corndogs (at Jackie's expense). Other performers shine, too, including Will ...