Bow Wow scores big in ‘Mikei
By Andrew Beard
The Daily Cougar
Are you noticing a new trend in Hollywood? Every other week, it seems
another music star leaps onto the big screen with little or no
acting experience. The onslaught of this trend recently brought us
Glitter, On the Line, Crossroads and The Wash. It continues next
year with iNSyncis Grease 3 and Brittany Spearsi untitled NASCAR project.
You might notice that none of these films do well at the box office.
So why do production companies continue to produce such
The answer is simple. No matter how badly the movie flops, itis guaranteed
to make money. The production cost is low because of
the recording artistis asking price.
Although well known in the music world, musicians canit point to their
resume and say, "I was in Saving Private Ryan, which made
$160 million, so I want $15 million for my next picture."
Instead, the artist trades a low salary for the opportunity to promote
a new album, fashion line or whatever else they want. The studio
then sells product placement advertisements to sprinkle throughout
the film, and before itis even released, the movie has made
All that aside, Like Mike is entertaining, largely because of the efforts
of Lil Bow Wow (excuse me, itis just Bow Wow). He plays
orphan Calvin Cambridge, a dreamer who claims "Every orphan has a destiny,
and that destiny is to have a family." As drippy as that
may sound, Bow Wow does a good job of keeping it genuine.
Cambridge and his best friend Murph, played by Jonathan Lipnicki, whose
driveris license will say "that kid from Jerry Maguire," sell
candy to exiting patrons at Los Angeles Knightsi basketball games.
They donit do it because they want to, but because the
Mussolini-style head of their orphanage makes them.
This is a funny cliché in movies. Are there no nice orphanage
owners? Why are Gestapo tactics used to get kids to go to sleep?
One night the coach of the Knights spots Calvin and gives him four seats
to the next game. The night before, Calvin discovers a pair
of shoes once worn by a famous basketball player with the initials
"MJ" on the tongue.
During a halftime contest, Calvin realizes he has magic shoes (not the
kind Forrest Gump wore) that help him dunk over his idol.
Director John Schultz deserves credit for the scene as the entire crowd
and Calvin remain stunned for several seconds. Isnit that
what would happen if a kid dunked in front of 30,000 people?
Midway through the film, the director clouds the story with musical
montages, product placements and a few references to the plot.
Most of it has been done before, but Bow Wow spills his energy onto
Unfortunately, the ending is predictable. As usual, this reviewer wonit
reveal too much, but if youive seen Angels in the Outfield, you
have a cheat sheet to Like Mike.