White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

This title is so false! They have obviously not seen me hoop it up on the courts.

Pretending to be a goofy white guy with no skills, Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) earns his keep by hustling pickup basketball games in Los Angeles. But when one of Billy’s victims (Wesley Snipes) subsequently becomes his partner, the pair gets a taste of real success. They must also contend with some shifty characters — and their own competitiveness

A good sports comedy in today’s world is hard to come by, especially in today’s world. But when used right, it brings comedy lovers, and sports lovers together.

The best thing about this movie is that it comedy almost never seems to get taken out of proportion. A lot of the stuff they say in here is straight up laugh-out-load funny, but it never becomes one of those huge joke fests that you can’t take seriously. However, I will say some of the best yo-momma jokes come from here, ones that I have never heard, and will use soon on some sucker who’s trying to diss me and my game.

There is also a lot in this film that is real. The film shows these two guys’ lives, and how their own wives live with the fact that their two men, are just boyish characters. The film shows how if you make one decision on, or off the court, you never know what the out-come may be, whether it be good or bad. I had a problem with the film by the middle act, where it seems to get stale. The jokes are flying everywhere but they don’t seem to stick quite as well as the first act. Also, the little sub-plot with the gangsters trying to find down Harrelson and take over his debt, was kind of dumb, but hey it didn’t totally ruin the movie.

If your a huge b-ball fan, like me, your going to love the basketball playing sequences themselves. There shot in a nice style, with just the right type of music, to bring out the energy a lot in a film, that strives so well for it.

The trio of leads is what makes this film its best. Wesley Snipes is at his funniest, as big-time street baller Sidney Deane. he brings out all the charisma he has in his character, and it works in his advantage cause we actually end up liking him a lot more than you expect. Woody Harrelson’s character, Billy Hoyle, starts off as likable and smart, but then he kind of turns into a dick head, and you start to kind of dislike him, mostly cause you don’t know his intentions. But besides that he still gives a funny performance here. Rosie Perez almost steals every single scene she’s in, cause that high-pitched voice just works so well with this material, and really does have you laughing, even when the film is semi-serious. She played the same character in Do The Right Thing and every other movie after, but hey it always seems to work. The genuine chemistry between Snipes and Harrelson is what makes the film click, but also the message that the film brings up. Whites and Blacks, may never get along when it comes to the sport of basketball, and that is not racist, it’s just the truth on how both sides see the game differently.

Consensus: The plot may meander, however, White Men Can’t Jump is a great blend of fun, sports, and comedy, lead by a great trio of leads.




  1. I am a big fan of the seemingly completely random selection of films. I haven’t seen White Men Can’t Jump in a while, I feel like I need to again.

  2. I’m not certain it’s aged particularly well, but as you pointed out it’s enjoyment level can’t be denied, dated or not. It’s one of the better and more original sports films around.

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