Both as a genre sports movie and as an inspirational flick, Hurricane Season finds great success. A thoroughly moving story that takes place just after Katrina hits, it”s easy to see why it would attract such a great cast and crew. The underdog basketball team that unites the state, is already a powerhouse film without also being a true story. Once you add Tim Story, Forest Whitaker and the ever soulful and beautiful Taraji P. Henson, you have something really special. So I highly endorse the movie and it”s on record. Now let”s whine and bitch a little, shall we?
As always, there are a few critical points that can be made. While Bow Wow gives a strong performance and continues to impress as an actor, Lil Wayne is nothing more than a distraction in the film that screams, “Hey, look everybody. It”s Lil Wayne!” Wayne plays a local hustler that is shown in a few scenes betting against the team. By the end of the movie, he comes around online casino to support the team. Big deal! We”ve all seen product placement in movies, but this is the first real noticeable person placement I”ve seen! He serves very little point in the movie other than to cash in on the dirty south. Maybe casting an unknown would have been less distracting, I mean, the entire role is supposed to demonstrate to the audience how this team has united all of the people to get behind them. Further exploration of the deleted scenes (the only special features on the disc) might reveal more insight into his character, but as it stands, there isn”t much point.
There”s also the moment when the white principal watches the white kid make a basket and smiles. She too has almost no screen time and is still credited above other actors in the credits who were more relevant.
In the special features, there are twenty-four scenes, some good cuts and some that might have been better left in. Twenty-four scenes is a lot of screen time and given the theatrical run time is an hour and forty-five, most of the trims were likely made for time. It”s too bad really, since some of these scenes would have helped to pace the movie better. Even at almost two hours, the movie feels like it ended prematurely. In regards to the principal, there are other scenes on the cutting room floor that fleshed out her character and gave her a real arc that explains why she had such high billing in the credits.
This movie is great, but given more patience, time and confidence, this could have been brilliant. It needed to breath and it”s deserving of an extended cut using some of forty-five minutes of deleted scenes, but is unlikely to ever receive this treatment.