A few weeks back, in an effort to assimilate myself with my new in-laws, I attended the Christmation ceremony of my wife’s cousin, who was converting to Greek Orthodoxy. Not only was the ceremony and the subsequent service three hours long, but it was performed entirely through discordant Greek chants, a method of communication that is not only mind-splittingly dull, but so loud and jarring that it was impossible to allow my mind to drift into a blissful daydream state of Alba-esque fairies and ethereal Peyton Manning touchdown passes. Don’t get me wrong; I’m rather fond of my new cousin, and pleased that he’d found a brand of faith to his liking; it’s just that, for three hours, I felt my soul being sucked through a coffee stirrer at such a slow pace that I couldn’t even revel in the pain of my boredom. Instead I was left in a purgatorial state of suffering, somewhere between tedium and listlessness.
As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, and as friends roll in from out of state, BBQs are fired up, and swimming pools cleared of debris, all I have been able to ponder is the duplication of that sensation. For three nights running, I’ve had a recurring nightmare in which I have been chained to an uncomfortable movie theater seat — an old-school chair, not one of these newfangled, reclining, cup-holding, stadium-seating varieties — forced to sit through a two-hour Martin Lawrence family comedy jam-packed with regurgitating fat kids; lame, Lawrencian catch-phrases; and the piercing shrill of Megan Mullally. I woke this morning in a cold sweat — visions of a fat-headed Martin delivering family-style racial humor and precocious 12-year-olds picking their nose, still swirling around in my head — and I made a decision to end my suffering early, to forego Rebound, and instead spend my Friday morning watching the escapist-action adventure, War of the Worlds, like everyone else is doing this weekend.
After all, I figured, I’ve been accused many times of writing a review without even watching the film, so why the hell not make it legitimate just the once? Seriously, no one should have to sit through Rebound on a holiday weekend, right? It’s not as though I actually need to see the movie it to write the review.
Like anyone with half a mind, I already know what’s going to happen, and if any of you are masochistic enough to see Rebound this weekend, please correct me if I’m wrong: Martin Lawrence will play an obnoxious, temperamental college coach. He’ll have a sudden meltdown during a losing game and go ballistic on the other team’s mascot. He’ll get fired. He’ll assume that some other college team (or even an NBA team) will scoop him up in short shrift. He’ll get no offers, and soon, he’ll be forced to coach the inner-city middle school he grew up in, only it will be one of those sanitized, Disney-esque inner-cities, where the children will be more afraid of wedgies than gang violence, right? How am I doing so far?
Lawrence, whose character, IMDb tells me, is named Roy McCormick, will start out as a lackadaisical coach, annoyed that he’s stuck with a bunch of no-talent middle-schoolers. His team will lose the first game, maybe even the first couple of games, and McCormick will probably act indifferent to the plight of the obnoxious players he’s stuck with until some generic, moderately attractive teacher accuses him of immaturity, or apathy, or of self-indulgent pride. He’ll fall in love with her, and decide to turn his life around, and fashion his rag-tag team of acne-ridden players (who will get half the screen time that Lawrence does) into a winning team. There will be a bad musical montage (maybe to something by The Black Eyed Peas) in which his team will run perfect drills, whistles will be blown, and clipboards will be looked at with satisfaction. The team will win a game, and then going on a winning streak, led by its one star shooter, until it is ultimately pitted against the cross-town rivals — probably a private school full of rich, white privileged children — in a championship game (the same rivals the team probably lost a humiliating game to early on in the film). The Rebound team will fall behind, and Lawrence will give some idiomatically inspirational speech at halftime (with rousing, patriotic music playing in the background). The team will make a stirring comeback, and the fat kid who vomited throughout most of the film will make the winning shot in the final seconds of the game. The crowd will cheer; Patrick Warburton, who will probably be the coach of the rival team, will throw a clipboard, and ultimately freak out in the same manner that cost Lawrence his job. Then Lawrence and the generic, attractive woman will kiss, and the movie will end with outtakes of obnoxious kids while the credit roll, which will be a hundred times more amusing than the actual movie was.
If you’re lucky, your child — if he or she is one of those slow, slightly brain-damaged kids — will laugh two or three times throughout the film, and you will be moderately embarrassed to be his or her parent. You will hide your head in your palms at least six times during the course of the film, and pray that sleep will overtake you. No such luck — Martin Lawrence is not only unfunny, but he’s kind of loud, too. The movie will last about 110 minutes with commercials and previews, and you will look at your watch about 14 times, and think to yourself that the goddamn inconsiderate cell-phone man commercial — on a two-hour continuous loop — is more entertaining than the movie you have paid good money to see. You will then walk out of the theater despondent — maybe slightly suicidal — and you will wish you’d listened to that arrogant, know-it-all asshole that reviews films for Pajiba. But, pride will overcome you, and when you get home, you’ll use the link below to email him and say, “Fuck you, man! Rebound was awesome! Martin Lawrence is da bomb!” You will probably use multiple exclamation points, and spell half of your words incorrectly. And when I receive your email, I will shake my head and chuckle, and whisper under my breath to no one in particular, “I told you so, dumbass.”
Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba and managing partner of its parent company, which prefers to remain anonymous for reasons pertaining to public relations. He lives in Ithaca, New York.
Rebound / Dustin Rowles
Film | May 12, 2006 | Comments ()