1) Kevin Durant made a movie about a magic basketball that causes him to swap talents with an uncoordinated high school student named Brian. It is called Thunderstruck, and it is currently playing a few times a week on HBO. As UPROXX’s resident expert on movies involving stolen basketball talent, I felt it was my duty to watch it.
2) It is … not good. But it is also amazing. It’s kind of like if you took Space Jam, Teen Wolf, and Blank Check, whirred them up in a blender until there were no more chunks, ran the mixture under the faucet for a few seconds to water it down, then sprinkled a dash of “Okay, but what if his best friend is a hacker?” on top.
3) How do we know his friend is a hacker? Within the first 10 minutes he informs Brian that he “hacked the webvite for Stacy King’s party” to get them invited, which is hilarious because it makes it sounds like Stacy King’s party is the Vanity Fair post-Oscar party instead of a small-town Sweet 16, and she wouldn’t see them at her door and be like “Yeah, I didn’t invite you. Beat it, dorks.”
4) And here’s how we know Brian is bad at basketball: At one point, while he’s playing by himself in his driveway, he dribbles the ball super-hard into his nuts and falls over. Try to guess if this is in the trailer. (Spoiler: Yes.)
4a) One more thing about Brian. He also tries to dunk off a trampoline and ends up getting his entire body stuck in the net, which leads to all the cool kids sarcastically nicknaming him “Hang Time.” The bullies are clearly idiots, because Hang Time is an awesome nickname however you can get it.
5) Thunderstruck is a kids’ sports movie that has cheesy graphics and special effects, and features an important scene that is set to the song “Get Ready For This” from Jock Jams 1. Watching it is a little like owning a time machine that only goes to 1995.
6) Oh right, the plot. Brian’s dad takes him to a Thunder game and he gets picked to shoot the half-court shot at halftime. He misses the shot by so much that he actually ends up hitting the Thunder mascot in the head (Note: IMPORTANT PLOT POINT), even though the mascot is standing on the sideline. The ball rolls over to Kevin Durant and he decides to sign it for Brian, but as he’s handing the ball to him they do the “I wish I had your talent”/”I wish I could give it to you” thing that happens in all body-swapping comedies, and there you have it. Talents swapped. p.s. Brian can dunk now.
6a) I still maintain that the best possible body-swapping movie would be one about the pope and a famous rock star switching places. You could have the pope and the rock star both standing on balconies second-guessing their life choices (POPE: [sighs] I never get to have any fun. ROCK STAR: [sighs] No one takes me seriously) as a shooting star rockets across the sky. Then when they wake up the next morning? BLAMMO. The pope is the rock star, the rock star is the pope. Hijinks ensue. The pope starts throwing parties, the rock star has a REALLY awkward experience with a groupie after a show, etc. etc. etc. You know how this goes. Long story short, everyone learns their lesson and they swap back at the end. Pope Swap, Summer 2014. Starring Channing Tatum and Jeffrey Tambor.
7) I suppose I should stop here and point out that Kevin Durant is barely in this movie. This is not a Michael-Jordan-in-Space-Jam situation where he’s being asked to carry a huge part of the film. He basically pops up between montages of Brian dribbling through his legs and dunking to clang some shots of the rim to remind us that he got Brian’s basketball skills in the swap, then he disappears for 10-15 minutes at a time.
8) His agent, on the other hand, is a tremendous movie character. Here are some things he does in the film as though they are normal things people do:
- Helps Kevin Durant at practice by rebounding for him in a full suit.
- Concludes that a high school student must have stolen his slumping client’s talent after watching a local news report about the student’s run of hot games. (He was technically correct, but still, think about that.)
- Shows up at Brian’s game in sunglasses and an Ivy League cap to spy on him.
- Shows up at a local burger joint and interrupts Brian’s date with attractive new girl Isabella.
- Shows up at a huge, unsupervised high school party full of bathing suit-clad teenagers to confront Brian about giving Kevin Durant his talent back.
In another, non-goofy-sports-movie universe, those actions could have resulted in a post on this very website titled “Kevin Durant’s Creepy Agent Convicted Of Harassing Local Teen, Must Register As A Sex Offender.”
9) You guys should really check out the Wikipedia page for this movie. The plot description is a thing of beauty. It starts with “Brian is a 16-year-old teenager that lives in Oklahoma. He is mad about basketball” and somehow gets even better from there. I honestly think it was written by a 9-year-old, which is something I wish were true of more Wikipedia pages.
10) Anyway, you can probably figure out the rest of the movie. The talent goes to his head, he gets cocky, he starts ignoring his hacker friend, Isabella gets pissed and tells him she liked him the way he used to be, the coach — played by Jim Belushi, fyi — gives him a heart to heart, he decides to gives the talent back, blah blah blah. The problem is that they can’t figure out how to swap back. They try everything, including tasering the basketball. Nothing.
But later that night, while he’s watching the game, Brian remembers that the ball hit the mascot in the head before it rolled to Durant. So he hops on his bike, rides it to the basketball stadium, zips past some very incompetent security guards, corrals Durant, and wings the ball at the mascot’s head again. Then they both say the magic words and everything goes back to normal. Because they hit the mascot in the head with the ball. That’s what made it magic. Obviously.
Like I said, this movie is not good. But it is also amazing. I give it 2.5 out of 4 magic basketballs.