Movie of the Week: White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

Ron Shelton directs Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson and Rosie Perez in THE basketball hustling comedy.

You either know what a glorious two hours this is, or you ain’t worth engaging with. Talking dirty fast and witty lyrical like a classic rap album. Vibrantly coloured like a Keith Haring work of art. Moving like a kung-fu comedy. You couldn’t get more 1992 than White Men Can’t Jump. It is The Hustler on e-number enriched blue colouring. “We goin’ Sizzler!” Wesley’s best work! Woody stretching his sitcom chops into proper acting. Rosie Perez berating him and dominating Jeopardy like a sexy motherfucker. “Billy – you so fucking stupid!” It is a macho buddy comedy that teaches young men to respect women. It is a flashy conman lark that favours hard work and getting paid. There’s more value and love and heart and intelligence and craft in White Men Can’t Jump than in any Oscar nominated contender of the 90s. So there’s a litany ‘yo momma’ jokes?! Just because Ron Shelton made it look, and move, and sound, and dunk like something more juvenile doesn’t mean it ain’t one of the finest scripted films Hollywood ever actually made. One of Stanley Kubrick’s fave rentals this and for great reasons. Rewatchable, requotable and with a soundtrack that attaches itself to your soul and energises you for life. “Listen to the woman.” Doesn’t make a wrong move, goes for the slam dunk when it could just land a two pointer and walk away! A perfect movie.

10

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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