After spending his life savings to enter the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, Dax (Lil Rel Howery) loses his team his team, girlfriend, and home to his longtime rival (Nick Kroll). Seeking to turn things around and win the $100,000 cash prize, Dax stumbles upon the legend of streetball, Uncle Drew (Kyrie Irving) and convinces him to return to the court one more time. The two men embark on a road trip to round up Drew’s old basketball squad (Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, and Nate Robinson) to take on a new generation of ballers and redeem their legacy.
There have been countless sports films that have used basketball as a backdrop. Uncle Drew takes many of the charming and humorous elements of films like Like Mike, White Men Can’t Jump, He Got Game, and more to make a film that attempts to wedge itself into the genre instead of simply being a marketing gimmick that has been dragged out longer than it should be. Although the story is very shallow, and the plot is very predictable, the point of the movie is to showcase love and friendship. The film demonstrates that sport is a way to connect people across racial lines, economic class, and across borders. Despite its weaknesses, it brings fans together for ninety minutes to laugh and enjoy the antics of a group of senior citizens and one outcast looking for redemption and a home.