The mega-talented small forward with the Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder comes off well playing himself onscreen. But, he told me recently in Dallas that the NBA won’t be losing him to Hollywood anytime soon.
“Thunderstruck” is your typical Freaky Friday family comedy format. While attending a Thunder game in OKC, high school sophomore Brian (Taylor Gray) by chance meets the NBA star, who promptly gives him an autographed basketball. While handing over the rock, a magical Hollywood moment happens and all of Durant’s basketball prowess is suddenly transferred into the student. Comedy ensues.
Actually there IS a laugh or two in this family comedy. Seeing one of the NBA’s best players miss all those shots and Brian (formerly the towel boy) becoming his high school team’s top player is certainly worth a grin or two. The best comedy ingredient is the boy’s high school coach (Jim Belushi) and his assistant coach (Robert Belushi). The real-life father and son comedians bring some genuinely funny (laugh-out-loud) moments to your basic kid’s movie. They’re used to working together and have a chemistry that really clicks.
The film has a great, if not commonplace, message: Work hard to get ahead. Don’t take any shortcuts. Nothing wrong with kids wasting 90 minutes if they come away with that theme. “Thunderstruck” is just right for pre-teens, if not for us older folks as well. Grade: C+
Check out my interviews with the cast of “Thunderstruck:”