Hulu puts up a brick with “White Men Can’t Jump”

Some movies just don’t need to be remade, no matter how much Hollywood wants us to believe the opposite. If the original is beloved then there is nowhere for the quality to go than down, because we humans love our nostalgia above all else. 

I never saw 1992’s White Men Can’t Jump staring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, but I can still tell you with close to 100% certainty that it wasn’t a movie that needed a facelift for 2023. 

I know this simply because I know the original has its fans, and I am sure no one is going to be a fan of this new version. 

Dull, led by boring and irritating characters, and offering nothing to say about race relations beyond a few surface observations, 2023’s White Men Can’t Jump offers a few chuckles but is ultimately unnecessary and forgettable. 

It is clear from the outset that White Men Can’t Jump is going for broke on the whole unlikely bromance thing that other films have done so well in the past, but it is an attempt built on a flimsy foundation of two-dimensional characters and a complete lack of chemistry between the two leads. 

Kamal (played by Sinqua Walls) is a former high school basketball star that wants to get his former glory back, and that’s about it. Jeremy (played by Jack Harlow) has the same boring motivation with the added baggage of being the most stereotypical and unlikable douche (it’s the only word that really fits, sorry!) you can think of. 

They make for a thoroughly uninteresting pair, leaving the film to rely on its equally uninteresting story and a mere handful of laughs, most of which are provided by the tertiary friend characters Lorenzo and Speedy (Myles Bullock and Vince Staples, respectively) who are genuinely hilarious and thoroughly steal the show every scene they are in. 

Perhaps the most frustrating part of White Men Can’t Jump is how safe the film plays it with its social and racial commentary. Instead of trying for something new, meaningful and funny, Can’t Jump is content to merely reiterate already well-trodden material, making observations and jokes about as shallow as its title. 

Even though I have never seen the original film I still felt the distinct impression that I had seen White Men Can’t Jump already many times before as I watched the remake. And why not just revisit one of those films instead? Surely they at least have characters I want to root for instead of a self-obsessed hipster and a blank slate. 

White Men Can’t Jump isn’t painful or anything, mind you. It just doesn’t do enough to justify its own existence and instead serves as a reminder that better entertainment of this ilk is out there. Ultimately this is just another unnecessary remake doomed to be forgotten in the shadowy edges of the Hulu catalogue, a place very few will ever tread and even fewer will ever watch. 

White Men Can’t Jump is available on Hulu.