review for Rebound on AllMovie

Rebound (2005)
by Derek Armstrong review

Rebound is a comedy of exaggerations. Coach Roy McCormick (Martin Lawrence) is so far gone down the road toward celebrity bimbo-hood, decked out in suits and bling-bling, he doesn't seem capable of ever having coached a championship team. Then, the middle school team he agrees to coach as penance for his bad behavior is so inept, we see them get shut out -- an unheard of result in a basketball game -- not once, but twice. (56-0 and 109-0 if you're keeping score). That kind of abject failure makes their improbable revival as a contender for the state championship the film's greatest exaggeration of all. Exaggeration can be a key ingredient in good comedy, but unfortunately, Rebound isn't good comedy. In fact, it's no kind of rebound in the career department for Lawrence, earning only a paltry $17 million domestically, on the heels of a string of cinematic failures by the comic. Nor is it his worst movie. Lawrence earns points for playing his character mostly straight -- even if he's not believable as a successful coach, he's at least believable as a guy with good intentions that went bad. Rebound never had the ingredients to be a very good movie, but it would have been a lot worse if Lawrence played his character in a constant state of mugging. Instead, he only resorts to playing the fool in a couple scenes, notably when he takes on the unnecessary second role of a charlatan preacher dressed in purple, looking like a dead ringer for Katt Williams (who actually appears in a mysteriously small role as the preacher's sidekick). More often, Rebound tries to play the traditional role of an underdog sports movie where all the characters have minor emotional journeys to complete, and it's not a terrible version of that movie.