Ice Cube and Keke Palmer lose their grip on The Longshots.
THE LONGSHOTS (Fred Durst). 94 minutes. Opens Friday (August 22). For venues and times, see film times. Rating: NN
After a series of family vehicles, Ice Cube sticks to the all-too-familiar game plan of the underdog movie. The Longshots is about a girl who shows the boys how to score - a touchdown, that is.
Jasmine (starry-eyed Keke Palmer) has been abandoned by a no-good daddy, and it's up to her Uncle Curtis (Cube) to step up as the father figure. True to the caricature he played in Are We There Yet?, Cube portrays another man who just doesn't like kids.
He's a fallen football star who drinks for breakfast, wears the same clothes every day and hangs onto the glory days of his youth. He's incapable of serving as a role model to a child.
But when it turns out the child's got a shotgun arm perfect for playing quarterback, Curtis takes the snap and becomes a coach, father figure, community leader and basically everything else Cube wasn't in his N.W.A. days.
This sophomore directing outing by Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst delivers a few choice gags, like naming football plays after Beyoncé. But in the end, it's simply part of the ongoing attempt to domesticate Cube's old growl, essentially taking him Straight Outta Compton and trying to make him look comfortable in family-friendly terrain.