Critics may not be ‘Thunderstruck,’ but hoop fans benefit from KD’s new film.
by Duane Watson / @sweetswatson
This Friday, Kevin Durant makes his feature length-acting debut in the movie Thunderstruck. Now before you start to worry that it’s going to be one of those family films where Durant magically has his basketball skills switched with a talentless 16-year-old kid and has to get his game back, while said kid goes onto be a superstar… Hmm, never mind.
OK, I’m casting judgment and I haven’t even seen the film, but the trailer is telling enough. Truth be told, it’s a kid’s movie—the actor who plays opposite Durant, Taylor Gray, is a big Nickelodeon star—but seeing a 5-8 kid flying through the air and dunk with ease is lost on me. But it’s not for me and I’ll likely only be seeing it if my nieces ask me to take them, which I’m sure they’ll enjoy.
While I’m sure Durant is decent in the movie, I don’t think the academy will be calling him any time soon, nor do I think he cares. At the premiere in Oklahoma City he said, “Not too many people can say they starred in a movie as a basketball player, with a lot of different things they’re juggling, but I’m glad I did it.”
His passion for the game is well-documented, he shot this film while hooping like a bandit during last year’s lockout. He’s doing it all, balling… acting… rapping.
What else do we know about this film?
• It features Kevin Durant in NBA action Durant has switched talents with a klutzy kid, he’s bricking shots for most of the film.
• Director, John Whitesell’s notable credits include Big Momma’s House 2, Malibu’s Most Wanted and Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son which stars Randall T. Jackson who coincidentally is in Thunderstruck.
• One of the movie’s writers Eric Champnella also wrote Whoopi Goldberg’s basketball flick Eddie (1996).
So while I’m hardly “thunderstruck,” Hollywood could benefit, by recognizing that there are other basketball narratives out there beyond Like Mike and Just Wright. In the interim, they provide debate material over which basketball player had the best performance in a movie, until we can actually again get a great basketball movie to celebrate.
Duane Watson is a freelance writer from Toronto, who has contributed to NBA.com, HOOP Magazine and The Canadian Press among others. He also co-hosts TSN Radio’s 1 On 1 basketball podcast. He prefers Twizzlers to popcorn when watching movies.