Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Mad ballin’ Cameron Day (David Charvet) was supposed to be the next ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich. I saw The Pistol play so saying somebody could be the next Pistol Pete is saying something indeed. But on the last game of season, I guess the NCAA championship game while playing for NC State… Cameron missed the shot. Now this shot was launched from half court with no time on the clock but Cameron has mental problems and missing this shot sent Cameron on a ten year spiral to find himself as this bizarre, fractured, oddly crafted sports flick ‘Beach Kings’ begins its tale.

Cameron has now resurfaced looking to hopefully reclaim that opportunity that he let go some ten years prior which has landed him in Los Angeles working at a sporting goods shop fetching shoes for people. How this is supposed to get him into the NBA I’m not sure, but with his buffoonish manager Jason (Jaleel White) guiding him, I’m sure it’ll all work out somehow. One day Cameron runs into Kenny (Court Young), a professional beach volleyball player who observes that the former D-1 athlete has some skills on the sand as well as the court. So captivated by the sport of Beach Volleyball Cam turns down a tryout with the Los Angeles Clippers to play in a Volleyball tournament. We’re talking the Clippers here so there was a damn good chance my man was going to make the team.

Cam and Kenny, who has become Cam’s number one boy, enter this tournament, qualify by beating some old men and then get ousted in the first round by the reigning superstuds of the court, which includes super V-baller Jeremy Madden (Brody Hutzler). But so distraught about this loss, the mentally deficient Cameron drops out of life again, stops going to his job and proceeds to treat people like total ass. This about the time this tale becomes way more convoluted than I personally deemed it necessary. Cam starts dating the beautiful Mia (Torrey DeVito). Mia seems to hate athletes. Cam is also being pursued by the lovely Lana (Kristin Cavallari). Cam won’t hit that though. We’ve established that Cam has mental problems. Hell, his girl thinks he’s hitting it already so he might as well go ahead and make her suspicions come true, know what

I’m saying? Truth of the matter is this has nothing to do with anything in this movie outside of the fact that Kristin Cavallari is really good looking and wears a bikini throughout this entire flick. Continuing on, Cam then joins up with the aforementioned Jeremy Madden to play more volleyball which makes Kenny really mad. Kenny, as it so happens, is Mia’s brother, but they don’t speak. Something bad happens, at least in Cam’s mentally deficient mind, while Cam is trying to ball with Jeremy which makes Cam’s mental problems rear its ugly head again. This dude needs the help of a professional. There’s a big volleyball tournament coming up, the biggest of them all, and Cameron needs a new partner. We don’t want to spoil it for you but its Kenny and it all comes down the final match. We don’t want to spoil it for you, but they win.

‘Beach Kings’, formerly titled ‘Green Flash’ which has something to do with a particular sunset that the character of Mia was droning on about, is a sports movie that is literally all over the place. As a side note I do like the title of ‘Beach Kings’ way better than ‘Green Flash’ which keeps me from having to describe to you what a Green Flash actually is. I do admire the fact that this movie tries to do some things different from the run-of-the-mill sports movie, that being a down hero comes up, falls off and eventually conquers. While this movie completely follows this pattern, at least in this one writer / director Paul Nihipali introduces the element of mental illness to his main character… or I think he does. I mean it’s not explicitly stated that Cameron Day is mentally ill but he certainly acts crazy and does things that only crazy people would do. Like beat up television sets at Best Buy. This might explain why the movie was all over the place since we were trying keep track of Cameron’s erratic, mentally flawed movements and decisions. Unfortunately this also kept us from getting a decent feel for the character of Cameron because Cameron is clearly nuts. The byproduct of this plot device is that it made it difficult to sympathize or pull for the guy and if you gotta have one thing in an underdog sports movie, you gotta have a main character you can sympathize with.

But while this main character was erratic and unpredictable, the movie itself was a sports movie that was predictable and clichéd to a fault, but then this is the way the genre goes. The performances weren’t bad, David Chavret is clearly an athletic dude who sold me as a guy who can play volleyball… maybe not basketball, though he can play… just not professionally. The other stocked characters were handled admirably, Torrey DeVito did the conflicted pretty girl thing well, Brody Hutzler handled the role of uncaring asshole with aplomb and Jaleel White did comedic buffoonery proud. In fact, since I know Jaleel White can ball a little, I wonder who won those Charvet / White one-on-one matches I’m sure they engaged in?

I don’t know man, ‘Beach Kings’ wasn’t an awful sports movie but it really was an erratic one that had a hard time finding its rhythm in deciding which direction it wanted to go. It knew where it wanted to end up, and did eventually get there, but the story felt like it was unsure in what direction to take to get there.

Real Time Web