Cross "Crossover" off your list

Sept. 7, 2006, midnight | By Kate Harter | 17 years, 10 months ago

Basketball flick is in no way a slam-dunk

There have been great basketball movies in that past that work to include a well-written story, high-quality acting, first-class moves and fast paced, energizing music. Preston A. Whitmoore II's "Crossover" just isn't among them.

Tech (Anthony Mackey) and Cruise (Wesley Jonathan) are two best friends who share a passion and skill for basketball. Cruise, though, has given up his dream to play professionally and is instead working hard to become a doctor. But Tech, who hasn't let go of the dream, sets his mind on stealing the glory away from his archenemy Jewelz, who has led his team to victory in underground basketball for three years straight. Tech gets together a few pals to play against Jewelz's team in an upcoming game, and also recruits Cruise to help beat their rival. Once they get involved, the boys realize that the money and glory attached to street ball will keep luring them back in.

While some have succeeded in breathing life into a sports story, "Crossover" achieves none of the glory. While it is a well-intentioned film, and the viewer can tell that there was supposed to be a moral at the end of the story, the movie as a whole is too predictable and overdone.
From the beginning, it is obvious how each character will turn out in the scheme of things. The viewer can see which person will get what he wants, which person will get in over his head and which person will end up reconsidering what is important to him. Each shaky move of the camera shows what the viewer predicted he would be seeing. If you walked out of the movie, got some popcorn, went to the bathroom and missed a good chunk of the movie, don't worry: what you think happened really did happen.

If the plot wasn't enough to demonstrate the movie's easily predictable turns, the camera movement, music and moves just contribute to the mess. The camera, at times, was extremely unsteady, which caused confusion within the audience regarding what was really going on in the scene. Because of the awkward camera movements, it was often hard to tell what was happening on court during the games.

The poorly selected soundtrack only adds to the confusion. One would assume there would be a lot of enlivening hip-hop in a film like "Crossover," but the music selection is disappointing. It seems as though the same few songs were playing repetitively in the background, which fits right in with the general predictability of the movie. Unfortunately, these songs aren't even fun; they would be better suited in daytime soap operas. (Seriously, listen to the music, and all you can think of is a show called "Passion Island.")

The basketball scenes are also disappointing. The players use the same tired throughout the course of the film. Jewelz, as skilled as he is said to be, never strays from his little foot-switching routine that one would assume his opponents would have caught onto after, say, five times. A movie about dexterous basketball players should definitely include at least a handful of clever basketball moves.

"Crossover" doesn't deliver the passion, skills, or intensity it promises, so you might want to put your money back in your pocket until a more satisfying movie comes around.

"Crossover" runs 95 minutes and is rated PG-13 for sexual content and some language.

Kate Harter. Kate is a seeeeennioorrrrrrrr More »

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