Like Mike 2: Streetball
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this straight-to-DVD sequel to Like Mike features some of the same themes about the love of basketball, what it means to be a friend, and how there's no "I" in team. Some of the adult streetball players insult Jerome and his friends until Jerome proves he's got extraordinary skills on the court. There is frequent use of mild insults from "jerk" to "idiot" to "fool," but there are no harsher swear words. Families should take note that there is moderate innuendo when it comes to women spectators and fans (aka "groupies"). In one scene, Triple J is in a music video sitting in a Jacuzzi with two girls who are in bikinis; and a grown-up couple flirts and shares a kiss. Tweens will be reminded of the importance of sticking by your friends and playing with your team not for your own glory.
What's the story?
Jerome (Jascha Washington) loves to play basketball with his best friends Rodney (Brett Kelley) and Nathan (Micah Williams), but they're not quite good enough to take command of their local court. When Jerome, whose father Jerome Sr. (Michael Beach) was once a potential NBA contender who flamed out under pressure, comes across a pair of old Nikes with the initials "MJ," he puts them on and is instantly transformed into an amazing player with Michael Jordan-like moves. Jerome is so good he's asked to join the local streetball team "Game On" to compete in a big competition. Newly dubbed "Triple J," Jerome falls under the influence of a greedy distant relative Ray (Kel Mitchell), who convinces him that he should show up the rest of the team, stop associating with his friends, and cash in on endorsement deals. Triple J must decide whether to play for fame or the game.
Is it any good?
Compared to other direct-to-DVD offerings, at least this sequel has an amusing plot, with decent performances and even a few laughs. While not as famous as Bow Wow when he starred in the original Like Mike, Washington is charming enough to carry the story of a young teen who just really wants to be great at basketball. As the father, Beach -- a terrific television actor -- stands out as overqualified in the cast, but his presence lends some serious acting skills to the project. Mitchell, as per usual, is well cast as the fast-talking opportunist who steers Triple J in the wrong direction.
Although LIKE MIKE 2 isn't an instant classic (and there are a couple of depictions of the sexy groupie that are unnecessarily), this is the kind of light-hearted sports fairy tale that will entertain and educate tweens of some basic truths on and off the court: showboating and stealing your team's thunder isn't cool; friends should be forever, not just when it's convenient; and fathers and sons need each other's support and encouragement.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether the sneakers are truly magical, or if they just boost Triple-J's self confidence when playing. Is there any lesson to learn if the shoes were enchanted?
Why does Triple J do as Ray says and ignore his friends? Should you pretend you're better than your friends because you're famous and they're not?
At first, Triple J single-handedly wins most of his team's games, forgetting it's a team sport. Is a win a win no matter how the game is played? What makes Triple J change his attitude?
What are the women's role in this movie? Can you identify any stereotypes in this movie?