Semi-Pro (2008)

(Netflix Streaming, October 2015)  As much as I have in my mind the notion of a quintessential “Will Ferrell movie”, I’m not sure which Will Ferrell movie that I’d designate as the most representative one.  Old School, maybe?  Semi-Pro may also fit the bill: It’s nothing more than a dumb sports comedy in which Ferrell gets to grandstand with idiotic set-pieces.  As the none-too-bright owner of a minor-league sports team who may get a shot at an NBA franchise, Ferrell’s character gets to play ball, propose dumb audience-pumping schemes and somewhere along the way become (not much of) a better person.  The plot itself doesn’t really amount to anything more than an excuse for various comic set-pieces, but the surprise is how many of them don’t stick in mind.  The bear wrestling sequence works, granted, but much of the rest of the film just lies inert beyond Ferrell’s usual man-child screaming.  Considering Semi Pro as quintessential Ferrell, and then seeing it fail to make an impression, may tell us much about Ferrell’s chosen comic persona.

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