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THE UNDERDOGGS

I Prime I January 26, 2024 I

Starring:  Snoop Dogg, Tika Sumpter, George Lopez, Mike Epps, Andrew Schulz

Directed By: Charles Stone III

Jaycen "Two Js" Jennings (Snoop Dogg) is a washed-up ex-professional football star who has hit rock bottom. When Jaycen is sentenced to community service coaching the Underdoggs, an unruly pee-wee football team in his hometown of Long Beach, California, he sees it as an opportunity to rebuild his public image and turn his life around. As Jaycen works to transform the foul-mouthed Underdoggs into top-notch champions, he reconnects with his past, including an old flame and few of his ex-teammates and rediscovers his love of the game.

REVIEW BY: Kurt Morrison

RATING 2 out of 5

Snoop Dogg's The Underdoggs is an odd one. January is known as a dumping ground by studios for movies they tend to know won't make any money or catch any attention. The Underdoggs seems to follow that same studio cue. I had incredibly low expectations for this one yet somehow it made me laugh from start to finish with its breezy concept that is a hard R mish-mash of a few sports comedies of yesteryear.

 

We've seen it all before when it comes to this genre - hard nosed, screwed up adult is forced to coach a little league group of ragtag kids, in turn becoming a better person all the while teaching the kids some lessons along the way as they themselves grow up a little bit too.

 

It is as cookie cutter as it comes, folks. 

 

What makes The Underdoggs such a surprise is how vulgar and hard the jokes are. Admittedly, I laughed a lot more then I thought I would, especially with the interactions Snoop has with the kids and co-star Mike Epps. No punch is pulled from either Snoop or Epps, making it laugh out loud funny at times.

 

The script outside of the jokes, for what its worth, is abysmal, as we find a lot of familiar tropes littered together so that the film can roboticly get to its obvious finale. You see it coming a mile away but I somehow found myself invested to see if the ride might turn for Snoop's Jaycen Jennings.

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Tika Sumpter is able to carry the acting chops here as an ex-flame of former superstar Jennings, and folks may I start the petition to get her into more projects. She has charm and charisma, all the while being commanding. That ability to command is literally the films saving grace because sadly there is a rough performance here by Snoop D-O- Double G. God bless him, he is definitely trying hard here but sometimes its painful listening to him deliver lines in this movie.

 

I've been a Mike Epps fan for a LONG time and he does is usual Mike Epps thing here, which is all I needed from him. The vet from the Friday franchise is doing that same bit here and it totally works, as his fast talking, crass banter with Snoop and the kids is continually the funniest part of the film.

 

The Underdoggs proved to not be the complete disaster I had prepared myself for. 

It is not a good movie by any stretch,but it packs some heart along with a lot of laughs in its lean 96 minute runtime. If you're looking for something to fill the football void between the NFL Conference Championships and Super Bowl two weeks away, this could be it. Lean, Mean and packed with enough f-bombs to step toe to toe with Scarface, The Underdoggs is available on Prime Video today.

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