Kyrie Irving’s Uncle Drew series of Pepsi ads were fairly beloved, especially as far as commercials go. Throwing Irving in some passably convincing old-age makeup to embarrass unsuspecting (or maybe complicit) pickup players led to some pretty inarguable laughs.
Now, Irving (and Irving’s character) are getting a feature film via Summit Entertainment, and he’s bringing along some friends. Along with Shaq, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, and Lisa Leslie, Uncle Drew features Get Out‘s LilRey Howery, Girls Trip‘s Tiffany Haddish, and Nick Kroll playing a douchebag villain, as he is wont to do.
Check out the teaser trailer that’s been released:
It’s tough to pick out the best part; preacher Chris Webber preparing a baby for baptism like he’s going to put down a showtime dunk in transition is up there, but Reggie Miller playing what appears to be a blind shooter is also pretty high up on the list.
Now, having watched the trailer, you might think the most important question is something like: “Will it be any good?”
That’s tough to answer. The better question, though, is: “Does it matter?”
This is a movie that probably amounts to an extended product placement festival, prominently featuring Pepsi. It’s not going to win any awards. It might be fun, especially to see Kyrie and former NBA players in a different setting, and it’s especially interesting to see how it’s evolved from the early days of the ad campaign:
What’s concerning, from the perspective of someone who enjoyed the original ads, is how the tone has changed. The first ads worked so well because they had a unique comic concept and aesthetic, and seemed to hint at a weird, broader universe. (And, also, because Kyrie as an old man crossing dudes up is objectively entertaining.)
They grew to add other characters, of course:
But it wasn’t broad comedy. They played it fairly straight, a branded and less-grating Borat of sorts, and it was novel. Now, it looks like it’s going to be played as comedy, which is probably going to kill whatever original humor was there for the sake of a branded, sports-movie clichefest.
Still, Shaq in a fu manchu!