I have seen it written that the quality of a film is likely to be inversely proportional to the number of writers employed, and certainly it seems sometimes to be truth. In this case, three writers for the story and two others to turn that story into a screenplay… well, it kinda proves the point.

ReboundOne can only wonder why this was felt to be necessary – surely we’re tired of ‘adult loser redeemed by a bunch of misfit kids with hearts-of-gold’ stories? It’s not like this hasn’t been done many, many times before, and better – the echoes of Champions (The Mighty Ducks) rang loud for this unabashed fan of the trio of kids ice hockey flicks from the early 90s. Surely I’m watching the same film, I marvelled, although Emilio Estevez had somewhat more charisma than Martin Lawrence, and the lead child who will appeal to the misguided coach’s conscience (and provide a mother for him to lust after), was played far more convincingly by Joshua Jackson than Oren Williams.

The only life in this rather drab film comes in the form of Patrick Warburton and Megan Mullally, both of whom are sadly under-utilised given the spark they bring to proceedings. Warburton is playing a caricature, sure, but he’s funny doing it, purely for being Patrick Warburton. Yes, many of the characteristics on display here are what made him so popular as Puddy the sports-fan on ‘Seinfeld’, but at least he seems to be trying. Mullally also shines in an extremely limited role, which surely could have been expanded to allow a more amusing and well-rounded film to result? Disappointingly, Breckin Meyer adds to his collection of supporting roles in flops, in spite of the charm he showed in earlier films like Road Trip and Clueless.

But this is Lawrence’s film, and this is perfectly demonstrated by the inclusion of an apallingly misguided scene featuring Lawrence as a secondary character – Preacher Don – whose impact contributes to the overall feeling of ‘why?’ that pervades. This sequence is so lacking in interest, its presence simply bizarre, and one can’t help but wonder at the lack of insight displayed by its inclusion.

The only thing remaining is the kids, and as often occurs in films such as this, they are more interesting than the star. That said, there have been more varied groups of children collected in many other films, and in spite of occasional moments of empathy or humour, they fail to capture the imagination. Oren Williams is passable as Keith Ellis but Steven C. Parker is the best of this bunch, as the uncoordinated Wes.

Wasteful of whatever talent was assembled, Rebound misses its shot at the existing market filled by years of similar, but better, films. For the kids only, as a dvd rental if there is nothing else more appealing.

Rating: 1.5 stars
Review by Mark Lavercombe, 25th April 2006
Hoopla Factor: 0.5 stars

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