Directed by Spike Lee
Running Time: 2:15

I'm not sure what to think about He Got Game. I went in expecting something, and when I left the theater I didn't feel like those expectations had been met. Can't explain why exactly, but the movie didn't seem to have the power I expected from a Spike Lee joint. He Got Game stars Denzel Washington as Jake Shuttlesworth. Jake was sent to prison a few years back for murdering his wife. While he was gone, his son Jesus (Ray Allen, former Big East player of the year from the University of Connecticut) has become the best high school basketball player in the country. The governor of the state wants Jake to persuade Jesus to go to the governors' alma mater, and if Jake can do it, he'll get out of prison earlier than expected. Jesus has never forgiven his father for what he did, so when Jake returns into Jesus' life, things don't go well. The ending was not much of a surprise, and the movie itself wasn't done as well as I had hoped.

I didn't know if the movie was about the relationship between Jesus and Jake, or if it was about the pressures the top high school basketball players have to go through when deciding whether to go to college or go pro. The relationship between father and son seemed strange, and I think a lot of that had to do with the inexperience of Allen as an actor, and the writing of the film. Sometimes their relationship seemed horrible, sometimes it seemed like they got along OK. I don't think Allen had a lot of range of emotions. He could speak the lines with emotion, but couldn't act the emotion at the same time, if that makes sense. As far as the pressures high school players feel, sometimes it came through, sometimes it didn't. The scene with the agent at his house, was very powerful. But the scene where Jesus argues with his uncle in his uncle's apartment just dragged on and on. I didn't get a feel for the pressure because the movie didn't show it. The writing suggested it, but it was never really portrayed on screen.

And what the hell was up with the happy hooker? What was her point? She just shows up at times, has sex with Jake, they talk, she's gone. Any scene with her in it was completely pointless and took away from the rest of the movie. I just wish that there was more to the film. You know how sometimes you see a movie and you know what the filmmaker is trying to get across, but something is missing, you just can't put your finger on it? That's how I felt about He Got Game. What could have been a great film, turned out to be a so-so film. I still think Spike's best film was Get on the Bus. But that's just me.

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