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Review: ‘Boogie’ is a Slam Dunk

"Eddie Huang's 'Boogie' is a breath of fresh air in the sports movie genre."

“Alfred “Boogie” Chin is a basketball phenom who dreams of playing in the NBA. As his parents pressure him to earn a scholarship to college, Boogie must also navigate a new girlfriend, high school, on-court rivals and the burden of expectation.” – Focus Features

As this new film begins, we meet aspiring NBA player Boogie. Boogie isn’t afraid to speak his mind. He’s unfiltered, much to the dismay of those around him. Or at least that’s his persona at school. Things at home are much different. His NBA dreams affect his home life and his relationship with his dad, who pushes his Chinese son to work harder because he has to. Boogie’s mother, on the other hand, worries about footing the bill for these dreams with no scholarships on the table.

Boogie struggles internally as well. He’s arrogant and full of himself, which hinders his opportunity to get a full-ride scholarship for basketball. Things start to change for Boogie when Eleanor comes into the picture. She begins to loosen him up and teaches him the importance of being grounded.

I need you to fight for yourself the same way you fight for being Chinese.

Eleanor

Eddie Huang, known for writing Fresh Off the Boat, comes to the feature film world for the first time and adds a needed viewpoint to the sports drama world. His writing on Boogie is nearly perfect, with viewers becoming emotionally invested in Boogie’s story as his different layers are shown. He sticks with sports story norms while showcasing the importance of Boogie’s background as a minority. The root of this story is Boogie’s heritage.

The film finishes on a strong note and works well because Huang builds the tension throughout the second act with his work behind the camera. The payoff isn’t exactly what we were expecting but Huang drains the final shot.

Do you want to see Boogie? We’ve partnered with Focus Features to give you a free screening of the film on March 25 at 7 PM CST. Register here but hurry — screening links are limited.

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