Much like the stupid redneck protagonist of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Will Ferrell’s latest sports comedy, Semi-Pro, revolves entirely around a paper-thin character that’s supposed to be funny based on looks alone. True, Ferrell does look pretty goofy donning an afro and a pair of Daisy Duke basketball shorts, but is that really enough to garner laughs? For some, maybe, but where Semi-Pro scores in concept, it fails in execution — ultimately relying too often on the charisma of its star to realize that most of the jokes just aren’t funny.
Ferrell stars as Jackie Moon, the voice behind the disco hit “Love Me Sexy” and the owner-coach-player of the ABA Flint Tropics basketball team. As the worst team in the league, Moon is clearly losing money on his investment, but when a rumor surfaces that the ABA is going to be dissolved (with the four most marketable teams heading to the NBA), Moon convinces the commissioner to amend the rule and allow the four best teams into the league instead. With a lot of ground to make up before the end of the season, Moon brings in some new blood with Monix (Woody Harrelson), a washed-up NBA champion whoâ€™s admired by all except Tropics superstar Coffee Black (Andre Benjamin). Despite their differences, the Tropics begin to play like a team and rally together for an 11th hour comeback that could make their NBA dreams come true.