There are those times when it feels as though writers, directors, and producers are banking on the idea that people haven’t seen other, similar movies to what they’re currently pumping out and hoping that what is being presented will be seen as original and as a result, successful. The idea of an NCAA basketball coach being busted down for one reason or another, usually their temper and a serious case of hubris, is not a new one and it’s not something unique that’s never been done before. Rebound, starring Martin Lawrence, was pretty much the same as Big Shot, which will be starring John Stamos, as both movies will have seen a top-level college coach go from being one of the greatest in the game to coaching a team that doesn’t appear to have a chance in hell of learning anything new. The difference here is that Stamos is heading to coach a girl’s high school team at an all-girls school where the stakes for each player are quite a bit higher since it would appear that several of them are looking at moving on after high school to big-name universities, hopefully with scholarships in hand. It’s a familiar story in a different package with bigger implications for the players since they’re older and, as young women, it’s likely that Disney is getting at the idea that things are somehow going to be a lot harder for them when it comes to succeeding.
But the general attitude of not wanting to listen and the idea that ‘my way or the highway doesn’t go around here’, as it’s heard in the trailer, brings to mind the idea that there might be an attitude in this movie that Stamos, as a man, might not fully understand his team and what it takes to motivate them. If there’s no mention of toxic masculinity it would be a nice surprise and it would bump up the estimation of this movie in a big way for a lot of viewers since the fact that Stamos’ character is getting axed from the NCAA for a reason related to his temper feels bound to bring up the idea that his masculinity might feel ‘threatened’ in some way at some point. But to be fair, it does look like a pleasant movie since it also appears that the girls and Stamos will learn a lot from each other in a manner that’s become entirely acceptable by many people since it involves a lot of attitude, which has been pretty standard in recent years.
In all fairness, it does look like it could be a fun movie to watch since John Stamos is still a great actor and the use of a familiar idea in a slightly different way is bound to convince a lot of people that it’s unique and original enough to pass muster. Anyone that wants to argue that this isn’t the same story is both right and wrong at the same time since it’s true, this story is unique to itself, but where they’re wrong is that the idea behind it has been taken on in numerous ways with a coach that either has been busted down from a higher position, or has been brought in for their expertise, or has some other reason for taking on a team that either doesn’t have a great record or does have a winning record but still needs to be restructured. Glory Road, Coach Carter, Rebound, Hoosiers, The Mighty Macs, Space Jam, and several others have very similar stories that have all been told in different ways, especially since a couple of them are based on real-world events. The story of a coach having to seek redemption in some way and the players having to learn to work together and with the coach is one that’s been passed around more than once and is no doubt going to be used again and again in the future since it is a popular story that inspires and builds people up in few different ways.
Much like a lot of sports movies, Big Shot is already looking like something that will be a fun, family-friendly movie that will get a lot of people thinking about various things, and will hopefully lean away from the ‘woke’ side of things by keeping the story more or less appealing to everyone from some point of view, while still teaching valuable lessons to those that watch. Everyone wants something they can enjoy on TV and the possibility of making that happen without selling out or having to shock the hell out of people is always there. Sometimes though a compromise has to be made, much as one has to be made between coaches and their players when it comes to the game. At some point, the defensive and offensive attitudes have to mesh in order to become a working unit, as this movie will hopefully show.
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