Pointless. Stupid. Motherfucking Bullshittery. Crabapple lobotomy ho-dickey loogey tickle fuckfuck rabbit-out-of-my ass cocksucker DO ME! Crystal gravy horn-rimmed ASS CRACK! Dingleberry, orange -chicken dandelion rape ANAL FACTORY! Squeeze my TESTICLES! Drink my EJACULATE! Father my ASS GERBIL! Brain Shart. Jesus Christ ate my NUTSACK!
Cue disco music.
… and that, folks, is a pretty decent summary of Semi-Pro, the latest in Ferrell porn, a subgenre that keeps pump, pump, pumping out the jokes, nevermind that there hasn’t been an erection in the house since halfway through Talladega Nights, and even then, it was a softie, a comedic limp dick that’s been shooting blanks for a couple of years now.
Before he died 14 years ago (yeah, you are that old), Kurt Cobain, during one of his depressive, self-abusive moods, would occasionally bemoan the tired Nirvana songwriting formula: Slow incoherent verse sprinkled with moderate amounts of shocking-sounding gibberish; fast, guitar driven chorus; repeat 3 times; voila: Instant hit. And that’s pretty much what Ferrell porn amounts to now: Ferrell taking on a sport that Adam Sandler hasn’t gotten to yet, dressing up in the most ridiculous outfit available, and then screaming profanity-laced gibberish for 90 minutes before the credits mercifully role. I am so fucking over it. I feel like I just walked out of a revolving door that kept spinning and spinning, while a hali-toxic Ferrell — walking backwards — yelled in my face until I was finally spat out on my ass.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: The more you see Will Ferrell in the weeks leading up to the release of his film, the more that film is destined to suck. And at this point, the guy doesn’t even seem to care. I think he must have made the talk show rounds twice this time around; the teaser trailer for Semi-Pro has been playing since last July; and the man even did a ridiculous Sports Illustrated photo shoot alongside Heidi Klum. Hell, he’s even repeating the once-funny “fuck you” commercials featured in Talladega Nights. Ferrell is tiredly going through the motions, and judging by his performance both in Semi-Pro and on Letterman, Leno, et. al, he just doesn’t give a shit anymore. So why should we?
This time around, his territorial pissings take him to the 1970s; he’s Jackie Moon, the giant-afro wearing owner, coach, and power forward of the Flint Tropics, an American Basketball Association franchise he bought with the profits he earned his giant disco hit, “Love Me Sexy,” (because disco is always funny, right?) The team is an embarrassment to a league that’s already faltering, when Moon learns from the commish (David Koechner, in another hilariously unfunny role) that the ABA will merge with the NBA at the end of the season. Moon is thus charged with generating an average attendance of over 2,000 people for the rest of the year and getting his team as high as fourth place, lest the Tropics fail to make the cut for merger.
In furtherance of that pursuit, Moon trades a washing machine for an over-the-hill NBA benchwarmer, Monix (Woody Harrelson), who takes over coaching duties and dramatically improves yet another team in a exhausting line of misfit teams, this one including Andre Benjamin as the sole talented player, Coffee Black. To improve attendance, Moon does everything that the advertisements for Semi-Pro have already shown you (cage-wrestles a bear, roller-skate jumps over a line of cheerleaders), only here the stunts are dragged out interminably (the cage wrestling scene must have filled a third of the film). Meanwhile, Monix is trying to reconcile with his old flame (Maura Tierney), who is dating Monix’s biggest fan, Kyle (Rob Corddry), a man who decides to stay and watch when he catches the two fucking. The only saving grace of the entire film is Will Arnett as one of the announcers, who — for once — ad libs enough semi-amusing lines to make you remember that he was once an amusing character on a great television sitcom and not some hack, deep-voiced comedian with an increasingly long list of bit and lead parts in one-joke comedies (not that he makes Semi-Pro anything near worth suffering through).
When Monix takes over as coach of the Tropics, the first thing he teaches the team is the “Puke Drill,” so called because the players are forced to repeat it over and over until they burp to the ninth power. It’s a fitting metaphor for what Will Ferrell and his movies have become: The same drill tirelessly repeated in slightly different situations.
And if you’ll excuse me, I need to go puke.
Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives with his wife and son in Ithaca, New York. You may email him, or leave a comment below.
Semi-Pro / Dustin Rowles
Film | February 29, 2008 | Comments ()