Release Date: Aug. 24, 2012
Running Time: 90 minutes
On the basketball court, Kevin Durant is a dynamic presence. He’s a clutch player who more often than not can carry his team to victory when it matters. Off the basketball court, though, the Oklahoma Thunder superstar and former Texas Longhorn comes across as quiet and unassuming. That works against Durant in Thunderstruck, a family friendly basketball fantasy that he shot during last year’s NBA lockout. It’s unfair to expect every athlete to be as large as life as Shaq, but Durant’s stiffer than a backboard in this lazy and unashamed reworking of Like Mike. He’s clearly uncomfortable being on camera, which may explain the lack of effort and energy he puts into Thunderstruck. No wonder director John Whitesell surrounds Durant with a hammy and willing supporting cast that includes Jim Belushi and Brandon T. Jackson. Appearing as himself, Durant goes from hero to zero when his basketball skills are magically transferred to an untalented high school kid (the mugging Nickelodeon sitcom star Taylor Gray). While Durant struggles, Gray becomes a sensation because of his dominant play at both ends of the court for his high school basketball team. Will Durant get his skills back? If so, how can Gray help his team secure its first playoff berth in decades? Compelling stuff, huh? Aimed squarely at kids, Thunderstruck deals in obvious jokes as it takes a predictable path to the big games Durant and Gray must play to secure a post-season berth for their teams. Durant’s so clumsy and awkward that Whitesell can’t mine any humor from his basketball mishaps. Besides, Whitesell’s more interested with how he can employ a basketball to inflict agony on his cast than wowing us with the on-the-court action. Durant isn’t the first basketball player to try his hand at acting. Like Shaq, Michael Jordan, and Dennis Rodman before him, Durant proves that once again that when it comes to acting, NBA superstars just don’t have game.
Aired: Aug. 23, 2012
Web site: http://www.thunderstruck-movie.com/dvd/