Crossover skimps on court-level pyrotechnics (we get a game in the beginning and, of course, a big game at the end, and that's about it) in favor of dry urban melodrama.
Much as they would like it to, basketball can't save the youthful inner-city players here. Nor does the ultra-fast-paced street version of the sport save this movie from predictability and tedium.
Just a few more tweaks and Crossover could have been something special -- a truly terrible movie to savor for the ages. But nooo, this street ball movie has to settle for middle-of-the-road badness.
An inner-city drama promoting themes of friendship, loyalty and the value of a good education should be a welcome event, but writer-director Preston Whitmore's Crossover is so badly conceived and executed, its good intentions don't help.
A lot of Crossover's manifest failings could be forgiven if the on-court action was thrilling. But Space Jam had better basketball scenes. For that matter, so did Dr. J's The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh.
The underground version of basketball known as streetball comes above ground in Crossover, but the fascinating freeform game gets screened out by a ludicrous soap opera with poor dramatic moves.
I'll believe that Kevin Federline is a Renaissance man, Mel Gibson loves matzoh and George Pataki is going to be our next president before I'll believe the premise of this movie.
While director-screenwriter Preston A. Whitmore II's film is to be admired for its proponing the values of a higher education over the dream of a career in the NBA, its dialogue, characterizations and situations rarely transcend the level of cliche.
A couple of dramatic plot points come and go with the speed of a buzzer-beating shot. And like the style of play the film glorifies, it's all flash and no fundamentals.
Even though the plot forgoes the formulaic slam-dunk, hackneyed devices, low production values, and the stilted direction (by Preston A. Whitmore II) dribble the ball off the shoe and out of bounds.
The movie is also burdened by some amateurish acting in supporting roles, but Mackie and Jonathan are the real deal, and they get good support from Wayne Brady as a smarmy sports agent.