PG for some thematic elements, mild language and brief rude humor
Aug. 22, 2008
Ice Cube , Keke Palmer, Tasha Smith, Jill Marie Jones, Dash Mihok
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By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com Senior Producer
- The Longshots, starring Ice Cube (Are We There Yet) and KeKe Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee) kicks off in theaters today. Based on the true story of Jasmine Plummer, an 11-year-old Illinois girl that became the first female to play Pop Warner football, the film is better than your run-of-the-mill sports movie.
Jasmine and her mom live in Minden, a small, run-down town in Illinois. Jasmine’s father has abandoned her, and she is struggling to fit in at school. Her uncle Curtis is also struggling. The former high school football star is unemployed and spends his days drinking beer and hanging out with his down-and-out buddies. Jasmine’s troubles at school escalate when her mom tasks Curtis with walking her home from school each day and babysitting her in the evenings.
It is during one of these afternoons that Curtis discovers Jasmine has a good throwing arm and he encourages her to try out for the local Pop Warner football team, The Minden Browns. With a little training from her uncle, Jasmine makes it onto the team much to the dismay of her all male teammates. The guys give her a tough time until they realize she can actually play pretty well.
Jasmine and the team train hard and earn themselves a spot in the Pop Warner Super Bowl. Excitement over the team’s success rallies the residents of Minden and spreads a new sense of pride and optimism throughout the town.
It’s interesting to see Ice Cube take on a more serious role with this film. The part fits him well and he turns in a solid performance. Fourteen-year-old Palmer also shines as the young football star Jasmine, even managing to portray the mechanics of football convincingly. Her true-life counterpart would be proud.
Perhaps the best part of this sports drama is that the sports element does not overrun the drama as often is the case in this genre. There is plenty of action on the field, but not at the cost of the film’s central plot, which isn’t really about sports at all. At its heart, this film is a touching story about pursuing dreams and the importance of family.
It is also a good choice for families. Except for a few profanities, there is little offensive material to be found in this movie. The Longshots is rated PG for some thematic elements, mild language, and brief rude humor.
Watch the trailer for this film at the movie's Web site.
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