Is A White Men Can’t Jump Remake Necessary?

Is A White Men Can’t Jump Remake Necessary?

White Men Can’t Jump was ahead of its time in 1992. Whoever thought the pairing of Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson would ultimately become one of the best buddy/comedy duos in cinema history. To recall, the film is about Billy Hoyle, a con man who uses his race as a skill to hustle black players underestimating him on the court. He pulls one over Sidney Deane, who uses that moment to team with the hustler, and the two play a con game around the courts of Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Billy has to worry about a debt he has owes a couple of mobsters, while dealing with a girlfriend who’s obsessed with Jeopardy! Now, on the surface, White Men Can’t Jump seems about two men shooting hoops searching for a better life; however, there’s a deeper meaning behind the content.

White Men Can’t Jump doesn’t necessarily go deep into racism, but it does dance on the stereotypes thanks to Billy purposely choosing these black men because they see a nerdy white guy. It also briefly touches on the struggles of Blacks in the hood, which is pretty much why Deane’s character opts to get into the con game with Billy. In truth, White Men Can’t Jump is a bit of a mess. There’s the whole subplot of the mobster that isn’t given as much attention. Then, there’s the whole Rosa thing that could’ve been dealt with better. Understandably, she leaves Billy because she didn’t want him to go back into that lifestyle, but the reason that she got to achieve her dream of going onto Jeopardy was due to Billy. Do you mean to tell me that she couldn’t give him the benefit of the doubt one more time? What was the point of building the hardships that these two endured if there was never a future planned for them? I know, I know, not every film needs a happy ending, but it was a disappointing way to end their arc after Billy had gone out of his way to make it clear that he’s in love with her. Still, White Men Can’t Jump is a timeless film that can still be watched today. That’s why it’s better for executives to scrap the planned remake.

As of this writing, Sinqua Walls and Jack Harlow are set for star in the remake, and to be frank, neither are on the caliber of Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes. However, that’s not the reason executives shouldn’t do a remake. White Men Can’t Jump isn’t perfect, but as mentioned above, the film relatively holds up to modern times. Alot of the stereotypes and story arcs can still resonate with today’s generation. Another concern with a remake is that the filmmakers are going to go far left by heavily emphasizing the race issue and making it the focal point of the reboot. What made White Men Can’t Jump fun is they played off those racial stereotypes in a comedic matter. Sure, Sidney Deane’s life was in a dire situation because he was living in the hood, but it was the fuel for his character motivation. There was never any moments of racism itself. Harrelson didn’t have issues with any black men. He certainly wasn’t living off of “white privilege”. These were two guys who were down on their luck trying to make a better living for themselves. There’s no need to really put a political stamp on this movie, but if the Cheaper By The Dozen reboot on Disney Plus can sneak in topics about racism (terrible movie, no need to see it) then it wouldn’t be shocking if the filmmakers dug deeper into that aspect.

Remakes should only happen to movies that are outdated for modern times or lackluster films with a premise that could’ve been great. Hollywood is a business and given the fact that it made nearly $90 million worldwide (which is really good for an R-rated comedy) they are obviously thinking dollar signs. But why touch on something that’s perfectly fine the way it is? Why not focus on a new film that could be this generation’s White Men Can’t Jump? Or, at the very least, take the Rocky route and focus on the son. Sidney Deane had a kid in the film, it could’ve been interesting to follow his adventures as a hustler. Though there’s not much to go on in terms of sequel for the 1992 original. Either way, the remake feels Hollywood’s latest unnecessary attempt to capitalize on something that doesn’t need to be touched.  This could turn out to be a huge critical and financial success, but it’ll still be a waste of time regardless.Wesley Snipes

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