‘Like Mike’ sequel promises family fun
Shortly after it was announced Warner Bros. would finally produce a sequel to the 1998 hit film Space Jam, the project was dropped when Interpol began pursuing the company’s executives. They’d been charged with crimes against humanity in connection with the 2014 film Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery.
Now tasked with filling the seriously profitable niche of family movies about basketball, 20th Century Fox decided to produce a sequel to their 2002 film Like Mike. Upon gaining permission from Rupert Murdoch’s sentient jowls, filming began. And after several on-set fires and months of reshoots, Somewhat Similar to LeBron was released in April 2016.
Like the original film, Somewhat Similar to LeBron follows childhood friends on their quest for basketball stardom. College-aged orphans Terry Frangledorf and Griffin Wells win a meet and greet with the Cleveland Cavaliers after the Make-a-Wish foundation hears about Terry’s fatal man-bun disease. Griffin makes two successful half-court shots and gets LeBron’s personal contact information.
The film cuts to Terry rummaging through the utility closet of the stadium, where he finds a Cavalier mascot suit. He puts the suit on and discovers that it’s magic, like the shoes in Like Mike. The suit doesn’t increase Terry’s basketball prowess, though; it simply gives him the physical comedy skills of a French circus performer. Overwhelmed by the new powers, Terry stumbles out of the locker room in the Cavalier mascot head and falls on top of point guard Kyrie Irving.
Much to Griffin’s dismay, LeBron takes a more vested interest in Terry’s character. Fox producers exclusively sought out Will Poulter for the role due to his eyebrows’ performance in The Maze Runner. Their casting call for Griffin’s role was much less stringent, with the ad simply stating, “A young African-American male who can add diversity to this sour-cream colored shitstorm.”
Terry wears it to a game in the hopes of getting LeBron’s contact info as well. While waving like someone trying to flag down a passing cruise ship, Terry hits a rival team member with his foam sword and causes him to miss. Griffin attempts to catch up with LeBron after the game with the hopes of introducing him to his high school coach. LeBron is so amused by Terry’s antics that he offers him a car.
Griffin and his coach remain in the arena for a while only to be harassed by Mike Tyson. The film’s executives elaborated that Tyson thought they were filming the sixth season of Game of Thrones and demanded to be included in the production. The actor behind the role of Griffin said of Tyson, “He mentioned he wanted to eat Will [Poulter]. He did bite that guy’s ear off so I should probably tell somebody to take him seriously.”
The final scene of the film features a play-off game between the Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors, with both Terry and Griffin showing up at the match. Terry is once again in his mascot suit and causing chaos, including accidentally dumping Gatorade over reporter Dana Jacobson rather than the Cavaliers’ coach.
Rashad Roberts commented on the film’s ending to Buzzsaw. “It’s actually pretty tight, my character finally gets to play ball like a pro. The game is tied with just a few minutes left when I come out and score the winning goal for the Warriors. I have to knock over Will to get to the other end of the court, and he knocks a bunch of cheerleaders down too.”
Roberts was unable to comment further, as the stunt-double for Terry had reportedly gotten his head caught in a vent and set off the fire alarm, forcing the evacuation of the studio.
Miranda Materazzo is a senior journalism major who once tried on a pair of magic shoes she found in the street — and ended up with magic foot fungus. You can email her at [email protected].