Snoop Dogg comes up short of the goal line with this unfunny sports comedy.
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I’ve always liked Snoop Dogg. His debut album “Doggystyle” is a hip-hop classic. He’s currently my favorite avatar while playing “Call of Duty” online. His friendship with Martha Stewart is charmingly entertaining and funny. While generally enjoying Snoop, I didn’t care for his latest stab at acting – the crude kid’s sports comedy “The Underdoggs” (now streaming on Amazon Prime Video) – at all.
Despite digging Snoop, I think he’s pretty limited as an actor. He’s better utilized as the sizzle as opposed to the steak. He’s definitely not leading man material (as evidenced by stuff like “Bones” or “The Wash”) and is more suited for supporting roles (highlights include a cameo in “Half Baked” and his turn as Huggy Bear in Todd Phillips’ “Starsky & Hutch”). His acting is limited enough where he’s even been bad as support – the dude’s downright dismal in John Singleton’s “Baby Boy.”
Snoop stars as Jaycen “Two Js” Jennings, a prima donna NFL wide receiver whose attitude and dwindling hands got him bounced from the league decades ago. Two Js spends his days getting blunted and podcasting about how great he is despite all the people that did him wrong.
Things go from bad to worse for Two Js when he has a disappointing meeting with his agent Ryan Kauffman (Kal Penn – Two Js refers to his character as a, “’Harold & Kumar’-looking motherf*cker” … hardy har har) and then proceeds to get high and accidentally crash his sports car into a public bus. Judge Tara (Kandi Burruss), with whom Two Js came up in Long Beach, Calif., assigns him to 300 hours of community service picking up dog sh*t.
While disposing of doo-doo Two Js spots a ragtag youth football team that’s supposed to be practicing, but their latest of many coaches has bailed on them. After Two Js and the tykes inundate one another with indecent insults he somehow comes to the conclusion that it’d be a good idea for him to become their coach. I’m sure the fact that his estranged high school sweetheart Cherise (Tika Sumpter) is the mother of the team’s quarterback Tre (Jonigan Booth) and any ensuing positive publicity could help him land a lucrative talking head TV gig had no sway on his decision.
“The Underdoggs” is directed by Charles Stone III (“Uncle Drew”) and scripted by first-time scribes Isaac Schamis and Danny Segal. There’s a disclaimer before the flick that reads as follows: “The following movie is rated R for language that might not be suitable for children. But f*ck all that. Y’all know ... the kids who aren’t supposed to be watching this sh*t curse more than the rest of us motherf*ckers.”
Two Js cusses up a storm. The kids cuss up a storm and get drunk on beer culminating in one of ‘em puking on a ping-pong table … all with zero repercussions. This would be fine … or at least tolerable … if any of this was amusing. I found similarly blue material funny a few years back with “Good Boys.” The only laughs come from Indianapolis native Mike Epps as Kareem, Two Js’ assistant coach, stalker and wannabe friend (he has a coupla funny bits involving a gun that’s supposed to be on safety, but never is), and comedian Andrew Schulz as Chip Collins, a morning sports radio shock jock who’s always talking sh*t about Two Js and conveniently enough coaches the Underdoggs’ most formidable opponents. “The Underdoggs” is 101 minutes long and I might’ve laughed four or five times.
Sure, the team comes together in the end, but Two Js is still a jerk and so are all of the twerps on his team. This “Mighty Ducks” reskinning (that film is referenced not once, but twice) serves as an advertisement of sorts for Snoop’s real-life Youth Football League (link here) and should’ve resulted in a better movie. Your time would be better spent making a donation to Snoop’s organization as opposed to watching his “heartwarming,” “inspiring” sports comedy that comes up short of the goal line in warming the heart or inspiring anything other than derision and disdain. We have an early contender for the worst film of 2024.