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August 2008

by Wilson Morales


Distributor: Dimension Films (The Weinstein Company)

Director: Fred Durst
Screenwriter: Nick Santora, Doug Atchison
Cast: Ice Cube, Tasha Smith, Keke Palmer, Jill Marie Jones, Earthquake, Garrett Morris, Malcolm Goodwin, Matt Craven


Ice Cube has done so many films for different genres, and has tackled lots of issues that folks can relate to that you start to wonder what else can he come up with. Well, he’s entering the world of sports. Instead of getting on the field himself and playing a game that we would to love to see, he’s taking a different perspective and giving a story of guts and glory as well as inspiring many to do what they believe they can do. In telling the story of Jasmine Plummer, the first female to play in the Pop Warner Football League, in ‘The Longshots’ through Keke Palmer, and directed by Limp Bizkit front man Fred Durst, Ice Cube and the cast give a by-the-books clichéd story that most folks can sit back and enjoy.

Set in Florida, Cube plays Curtis, an unemployed down on his luck loner looking to cling to the past by always carrying a football with him wherever he goes. When asked to look after his niece while her mother (Tasha Smith) works, Cube doesn’t think he can do much with her until he sees her athletic potential while hanging by the football field and watching some kids play some Pee Wee football. After twisting her arm to try the sport, Jasmine shows her uncle how good of an arm she has when throwing the football. With her mother’s consent and a little more prodding, Curtis is able to get the Pee Wee football coach of the The Minden Browns to reluctantly put Jasmine on the team as the quarterback.

Before you know it, the team takes an upward turn to success followed by the town’s involvement to improve their surroundings and the return of a family member long forgotten. Jasmine has so much pressure placed on her to succeed and win that it’s up to Uncle Curtis to keep her focused on doing what’s best for herself.

While it may be strange for some to believe that a guy from a nu metal band directed this film, director Fred Durst does show that he has the skills to make it in this business. While the story is filled with many clichés and is totally predicable, it’s a pleasant to watch and is inspirational for some. Keke Palmer brings the same level of charm that she brought to ‘Akeelah and the Bee’, while Ice Cube takes a back seat to let her be the focal point of the film. The only drawback to the film that I noticed was that Smith and Jones were more like props in the film than being central figures. Nevertheless, ‘The Longshots’ is still family-filled moving film.