Will Ferrell is no stranger to sports movies. He was a hyper-competitive youth soccer coach in Kicking and Screaming, then sped to box-office victory in the NASCAR comedy Talladega Nights, and pirouetted to audience acclaim as a figure skater in Blades of Glory. Now he looks for a slam dunk in the basketball comedy Semi-Pro. Unfortunately, this film is going to be called on account of unbridled stupidity.
Ferrell is Jackie Moon, Flint, Michigan's second favorite son. He's a one-hit wonder recording artist who used all his money and fame to buy the American Basketball Association team, the Tropics. It's 1976 and the ABA, known for its fast-paced, flamboyant play and technical innovations such as the three-point shot, is about to be assimilated into the NBA (yes, this part really happened).
The bad news is that the Tropics are the worst team in the league and are just barely keeping their financial heads above water. If they are to make the merger, they must finish the season as one of the top four teams. Anything less and they will be disbanded. For Jackie and his decidedly soggy Tropics to survive and play another day, they will need a miracle.
The miracle comes in the form of Ed Monix (Woody Harrelson), a former NBA benchwarmer now way past his prime, who returns to his hometown of Flint to coach the team to almost guaranteed defeat. As much as the trailers might make this out to be Ferrell's movie, the emotional core—such as it is—belongs to Harrelson, who finds, in his return home, a chance for personal redemption. He also sees the opportunity to rekindle a romance with his old flame, Lynn (Maura Tierney).
But winning is not enough—the Tropics must prove they are financially viable and can draw thousands ...1