Gunnin' for That #1 Spot: MCA Films
Gunnin' concerns a phenomenon proliferated by the broadband age: premature national-sports stardom at the high-school level. The destination point of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's doc is the Elite 24 invitational game, a stop-off along the way to the NBA for two dozen of America's top teenage hoops phenoms (among them Michael Beasley and a loping Kevin Love), dropped in Harlem's Rucker Park to dunk for the New York media. The venerable spinning-headline montage gets its update as the eight highlighted kids are introduced by piled-up browser windows (DraftTracker, ESPN.com) and pixilated YouTube highlight reels. But as each player's run through the same routine—hometown meet-and-greet, biographical sketch, hasty interview—the burden of the formulaic structure starts to wear. Exacerbating the monotony are the subjects, who meld into an amorphous portrait of a "hard-working" "good kid" trying to "elevate his game" and "keep his nose clean." They're more articulate with a ball, leaving Yauch to mythologize his HS Titans in NBA Jams largesse, every pass soundtracked as incoming ordinance, with the wide-angle lenses placed under each hoop creating funhouse distortion and the illusion of an acre-long court.
Get the Film & TV Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Scott Adkins Plays a Badass Actually Named ‘Colt McReady’ In the Effective ‘Close Range’
- Meet the Pole Who Tried to Warn the World About the Holocaust in ‘Karski & the Lords...
- Jane Fonda Faced Down the Seventies and a Killer in Pakula’s Masterful ‘Klute’
- He’ll Get Your Head Shaking: Surveying the Start of Chung Mong-hong’s (Likely) Great...