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Decent for Straight to Video - But Not Very Original
on May 7, 2011
If you're a fan of movies like "Step it Up" and "Save the Last Dance", Freestyle is about as close as you can get to those for being straight-to-DVD.
Freestyle follow the story of Leon, a skilled b-ball player from a working class family. He teams up with Ondene, a rich and preppy schoolgirl, to compete in a freestyle basketball tournament. They encounter romance and tension alike as the two become close, and the tournament draws near.
The good news is that Freestyle was shot surprisingly well. Despite never showing in theaters, the cinematography is good, as is the editing. The film also sports an excellent soundtrack, with tracks ranging from British rap and R&B to dancehall. West London rapper Bashy was actually the music supervisor for the film, and it shows with the quality soundtrack he selected.
The bad news is that the story has been beaten to death in other movies. Opposites attract, drama ensues because of their differences, and the film's end is predictable from the start.
The only thing that really carries the film is the music and the lead actors. British by way of Nigeria actor Arinze Kene is noticeably a natural athlete, and the role of Leon suits him well. Lucy Stanhope is as pretty and sexy as a young Stacy Dash, but this being her first feature film, it's noticeable that she lacks screen experience.
Don't expect much if you're a b-ball fan. The film only has a few minutes of actual basketball being played, with the movie's intro sporting a brief AND1 style streetball game. There are a few minutes of "freestyle" basketball exhibitions, basically a single person channeling their inner Harlem Globetrotter.
Overall, Freestyle is a decent movie for having gone straight to video. But it still lacks the originality, talent and spark that made movies like "Save the Last Dance" a success. Give this one a watch through Netflix before you consider buying the DVD.