DVD Review: Like Mike 2: Streetball
Release Date: June 7, 2006
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
· David Nelson
· Jascha Washington
· Kel Mitchell
· Michael Beach
· IMDb: Like Mike 2: Streetball
by R.J. Carter
Published: June 6, 2006
Herme's had his winged sandals. Hans Brinker, his silver skates. Cinderella, her glass slippers.
Jerome Jenkins Junior has a pair of old high-tops with the letters "MJ" written in marker on them.
MJ? No way! Again? Yes, the mystical sneakers are back, apparently imbued with the essence of Michael Jordan (one would have thought perhaps Magic Johnson, seeing as how they're magical, but then the title would have had to be changed.)
Jerome (Jascha Washington, "Last Holiday") is a thirteen-year-old kid living with his mother and her layabout cousin Ray (actually her cousin's ex-husband's brother). Jerome's father used to be a name in streetball -- in fact, that name is engraved on a monument with other great players who've competed and won the annual "King of the Concrete" tournament. But when Jerome Senior (Michael Beach, Justice League) choked in play later on, he quit playing altogether and forsook all interest in the game. His focus is entirely on his job and making good there, to the detriment of his family.
Jerome and his two friends aren't the greatest players in the world, but they practice hard, and Jerome has faith. And later that night, while Jerome is shooting hoops in his driveway, he spies a pair of Nike's dangling from a telephone pole. Written under the tongue in black marker: the initials, MJ. A storm approaches ominously, and a lightning strike knocks out the power and makes the shoes crackle.
The next morning, Jerome puts on his newfound sneakers and attends the tryouts for a streetball playoff as a spectator. When the ball lands in his hands, he puts up a full-court shot. Then he does it again, and an embarrassed member of the recruiting team -- the Game On team -- challenges him onto the court. Jerome handily shows him up with some shots that can only be considered supernatural, and Game On cuts the player and takes on Jerome.
But being a basketball star so young isn't easy. Jerome -- or Triple J as he becomes known -- begins to alienate his friends. He's also taken advantage of by Ray (Kel Mitchell, One on One), who wants to ride the Triple J gravy train as his manager, setting up endorsement deals and making all the profits. Taking Ray's advice, Jerome begins to become less of a team player and more of a showboat, which doesn't earn him any more respect from the other members of Game On.
Fortunately, Jerome begins to see the error of his ways -- as does Jerome's father -- and by the time the film wraps up, Triple J learns about teamwork and friendship, putting Ray in his place and reconciling with his estranged father.
The plot is formulaic and telegraphed almost from the very beginning of the film. However, that doesn't make it any less enjoyable as a family film, with positive lessons that serve young and old alike. There's also quite a lot of footage of some spectacular ball playing (and not just the special effects kind focused on the magical Jerome).
Special features on this disc include three featurettes. In addition to the expected behind-the-scenes documentary, "Making 'Like Mike'", the cast and crew members talk about their own personal history playing basketball as kids. Clyde Drexler and Michael Cooper host a look back at the history of streetball with black and white archival footage. Additionally, there are a handful of deleted scenes.
Audio settings include English 5.1, French Dolby Surround and Spanish Dolby Surround, with optional subtitles in English or Spanish.
Previews on this disc include "Big Momma's House 2", "Dr. Dolittle 3", and "Cheaper by the Dozen 2".