REVIEW: More Than a Game

26 05 2010

More Than a Game” fulfills all the basic needs for a good historical documentary (even when that history is seven years ago).  It gives us good perspectives on exactly what happened.

But it doesn’t go beyond the ordinary.  I didn’t really feel the emotion pumping through the veins of this movie.  I didn’t feel inspired or tense in the team’s big games.  Heck, I really didn’t feel anything.  I acknowledge that it’s not an inspirational sports movie, and it isn’t concocted to get all those warm feelings out of our system.  But “More Than a Game” was as emotionless and matter-of-fact as Tiger Woods’ public apology.

It was cool to see LeBron James as a high schooler; it was cool to see how “the king” became the king; it was cool to see what the Sports Illustrated cover has the power to do for someone.  Yes, it’s cool to see all of these things.  But eventually, cool gets old.  I wanted something deeper; I just saw basketball, nothing more than a game.  This documentary gives the scope of a reality show, and that’s kind of disconcerting.

Metaphorically speaking, “More Than a Game” is like that little kid who hangs on the rope dividing the shallow end from the deep end at the local pool.  There is depth in sight for the kid, but he plays it safe instead and sticks with what he knows.  I felt like this documentary was on the cusp of making some very interesting revelations, but it ultimately decides to explore what it knows best.

And by no means do I mean to imply that the motives or filmmakers had shallow intentions.  They explore the lives of each of the “Fab Five” players and what they brought to the team that helped propel them to greatness.  But that’s all just information, and “More Than a Game” becomes all facts and no analysis.  I wanted more from the movie than an ESPN highlight reel and some interview snippets, which can be entertaining and enjoyable at times.  It’s just not a premise that can sustain an hour and a half.  B /

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