No cliche is left unturned in this family-friendly sports comedy about a cocky coach laid low by his temper and the ragtag junior-high losers he turns into a real team. Once upon a time, coach Roy McCormick (Martin Lawrence) was the biggest news in college basketball. But between the courtside temper tantrums and the ever-larger amount of Roy's time eaten up by photo shoots and product endorsements, his stock has plummeted. After one particularly ill-considered outburst, the CNBA gives Roy his walking papers and threatens to bar him from college-level athletics for life. His only chance of a reprieve lies in finding a low-level coaching gig somewhere, working hard and proving he can keep his temper in check. And that's how Roy winds up at his alma mater, Mount Vernon Junior High, coaching a standard-issue batch of fat, chinless, four-eyed and uncoordinated 13-year-olds. The last time the pathetic Mount Vernon Smelters even scored in a game — let alone won — the school-newspaper nerds who dutifully chronicle their every humiliating game weren't even born. Foxy single mom Jeanie Ellis (Wendy Raquel Robinson), whose son Keith (Oren Williams) is the team's star player, has Roy pegged as a bully and potential child abuser, and rival coach Larry Burgess (Patrick Warburton) has been nursing a grudge ever since Roy refused to hire him as his assistant. Though Roy couldn't care less about the misfit kids, he eventually realizes that their continuing failure may have a negative impact on his high-flying reputation. He beefs up the team roster with 6-foot-plus geek Wes (Steven C. Parker) and tough-tootsie "Big Mac" (Tara Correa), who plays like the terror of juvenile hall. Then he gives pep talks and actually starts coaching for the first time in years. Keith learns there's no "I" in team, Wes gets some self-confidence, Big Mac embraces her marginally softer side and high-strung Ralph (Steven Anthony Lawrence, no relation to Martin) — who plays a near-identical role in kiddie soccer picture KICKING & SCREAMING (2005) — gets his nervous vomiting under control. Jeanie lets down her guard, Roy realizes fame has turned him into a grandstanding jerk, repudiates his rage-aholic ways and reconnects with his love of the game. Nobody gets hurt and everybody gets a hug. Even by the debased standards of preachy sports movies aimed at kids, this is pabulum.
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- Released: 2005
- Rating: PG
- Review: No cliche is left unturned in this family-friendly sports comedy about a cocky coach laid low by his temper and the ragtag junior-high losers he turns into a real team. Once upon a time, coach Roy McCormick (Martin Lawrence) was the biggest news in college… (more)