Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Like Mike (2002)

Basketball, baseball, and ice hockey are foreign pastimes for most of us, but that doesn't stop Hollywood continually bombarding us with movies about their beloved sports.

Already this year we've seen "The Rookie",starring Dennis Quaid as an over-the-hill pitcher, and "Juwanna Mann", about a cross-dressing NBA player.

Now we have "Like Mike", in which 14-year-old orphan Calvin (Bow Wow) finds he can shoot hoops like a pro thanks to a pair of sneakers that may have once belonged to Michael Jordan.

Since Tinseltown has already gifted us with "Air Bud" (about a basketball-loving dog) and "Ed" (a baseball-playing chimp), there's nothing that strange about a slam-dunking kid.

But youngsters will still enjoy watching teen rapper Lil' Bow Wow literally beating the grown-ups at their own game.

Signed up by the Los Angeles Knights, a struggling outfit whose boss (Levy) believes a kid on the bench will boost ticket sales, our hero finds himself lodging with star player Tracey Reynolds (Chestnut), who is less than welcoming to his new roommate.

At the same time he must deal with his scheming guardian, Bittleman (Glover), who makes life a misery for Calvin's fellow orphans, Murph ("Stuart Little" star Lipnicki) and Reg (Song).

Combining lively courtside action with a pleasingly Dickensian story, "Like Mike" is a fantasy fable that should keep everyone in the family entertained.

However, director John Schultz should perhaps have known better than to show children riding motorised scooters at reckless speeds and goofing around near power lines.

End Credits

Director: John Schultz

Writer: Michael Elliot, Jordan Moffet

Stars: Lil' Bow Wow, Jonathan Lipnicki, Morris Chestnut, Brenda Song, Jesse Plemons, Crispin Glover, Robert Forster, Eugene Levy

Genre: Comedy, Family

Length: 100 minutes

Cinema: 13 December 2002

Country: USA

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