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BASEketball (1998)::rating::2.5::rating::2.5

What am I gonna do, knock this movie for being stupid?  BASEketball is the cinematic equivalent of a fart machine.  It couldn’t be prouder of how dumb it is, like a sweaty frat boy showing off his brand new trucker hat/beer bong.  The key lies in your own tolerance for BASEketball‘s idiocy, which flows like frothy lager down a plastic tube.  If you’re game to fill up on those empty calories, this guilty pleasure will deliver just that.  Otherwise, well…don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

The, ahem, “plot” centers on Coop and Remer (Trey Parker and Matt Stone), two twentysomething numbnuts so emotionally immature, they make Stifler look like Sir David Attenborough.  As the movie begins, the boys crash a party populated by their old high school classmates.  Much to their dismay, everyone at the party has grown to be a successful adult.  (Although, the movie’s definition of success means all the guys can hulk out of their polo shirts and dunk a basketball like nobody’s business.)  Flustered, Coop and Remer improvise a new game to try and save a little face.

And lemme tell you, “BASEketball” is a humdinger:  Part baseball, part basketball, part fraternity hazing, the game quickly makes the guys into kings and catches on everywhere.  Within just a few years, BASEketball has gone nationwide, and Coop and Remer have become stars on the Milwaukee Beers.

Naturally, the boys’ life of leisure gets a hangin’ curveball:  Mr. Denslow (Ernest Borgnine), the team’s salty owner, kicks the proverbial bucket, and he bequeathes the team to Coop.  Is there a catch, you ask?  You can bet your battered biscuit dough there is.  Denslow stipulates that the Beers have to win the championship, or else the team falls to the gold-digging Mrs. Desnlow (Jenny McCarthy).  This revelation brings out all manner of greedy people, including Baxter Cain (Robert Vaughn), who schemes to steal the team for himself.

That’s really everything you need to survive this movie.  Well…I mean, Yasmine Bleeth is there somewhere.  Her character, Jenna, exists to be a one-dimensional trope–the Girlfriend Who’s Too Good to Be True:  She’s kind, patient, beautiful, and she grants wishes for terminally ill children.  Coop and Remer squabble over Jenna’s affections, even though she’s much too good for either of them.

As the film’s lead knuckleheads, it’s deceptively difficult to gauge Parker and Stone as actors.  This ain’t exactly Strindberg at the Gielgud Theater, well…except for the scene where Coop and Remer squirt breastmilk out of their man-tits.  Plus, I will say that both guys do a great job of slowly opening their mouths whenever they’re not talking.  South Park may have moments of brilliance, but Parker and Stone do fine work as blithering idiots.

Is this movie critic-proof?  I kinda think so.  Yes, it’s dumber than a box of sheetrock screws, but that’s all it ever aims to be.  I also can’t completely dismiss it as a comedy.  It did make me laugh out loud a few times.  The opening scenes, in particular, satirize modern athletes as mercenaries and franchises as corporate shills.  Those jokes have only become more relevant over time.  If you’re in search of 100 minutes of weightless, brainless entertainment–pork rinds in movie form–BASEketball checks off all the boxes.

103 min.  R.



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