In the '90s, Ice Cube and Limp Bizkit co-headlined the Family Values Tour as, respectively, a rap legend and the nadir of music up to that point. Cube and Bizkit frontman-cum-filmmaker Fred Durst reteam for The Longshots, canceling each other out into total mediocrity. Curtis Plummer (Cube) is a laid-off factory worker, just like everyone else in Minden, Louisiana; he spends his days in mild alcoholism, one Bud tallboy at a time. Sister Claire (Tasha Smith) needs someone to look after her daughter Jasmine (Keke Palmer) while she's working. And guess what happens? Disgruntled uncle and unhappy niece (an aspiring model who spends her time reading fantasy books, making her the easy target of every kid in school) bond over football; Jasmine shows off her terrific arm, joins the team, takes them to the Pop Warner Super Bowl, and reinvigorates the hopes and dreams of an entire town. Based on a true story rendered nearly unrecognizable—the real Jasmine developed over several seasons rather than a few weeks, for one thing—The Longshots strains so hard to inspire, every moment underlined with a by-the-numbers score, that it ends up totally innocuous. Director Durst and DP Conrad W. Hall bathe everything in a sickly beige, neutering all but Cube's natural charisma.
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