If you haven't watched Kevin Durant play basketball you're missing a sublime experience. His acting? That's a completely different story. All the basketball talent in the world couldn't help Shaq make 'Kazaam' any good. 'Thunderstruck' is another sad reminder of why most sports stars shouldn't be thrown into the acting spotlight. Just because they're immensely popular and loved by millions doesn't mean they should be thrust before a camera and told to act. Have you ever watched sport stars be interviewed by the media? Most of them are dull, impersonal people. Watching Durant try to act is worse than watching the Charlotte Bobcats try to play basketball.
As you may have guessed though, Durant's acting isn't the only horrid thing about 'Thunderstruck.' It has a lot of other problems, namely, everything.
The whole 'Freaky Friday' switching bodies plot has been played out for decades. So that's what they decided to do in this movie. Brian (Taylor Gray) is really terrible at basketball. He's clumsy and ridiculously uncoordinated. He idolizes Kevin Durant though. Living in Oklahoma, Brian attends Thunder games and wears a Durant jersey. Sadly, he'll never be good enough to play basketball at any level. Or will he?
At a game Brian is picked to shoot a half-court shot during halftime for thousands of dollars in prize money. As expected with Brian's non-existent basketball talent, his shot goes awry, everyone laughs, Brian sulks. Walking back to his seat Brian meets Durant coming out of the locker room. Durant signs a ball for him. He wishes, out loud, that he could have Durant's talent. Durant says he wishes he could give it to him. A few computer animated lightning bolts later and Brian has been endowed the powers of an NBA superstar. While, on the other hand, Kevin Durant has been imbued with the power of Brian's suckiness.
Brian soon learns of his new talents when he's out playing basketball in his backyard when he discovers he can dunk. Apparently the movie has confused talent with athleticism. It doesn't take talent to dunk a basketball. It takes muscle in key areas of your body to propel yourself to that height. However, disregarding the laws of physics, Brian sails through the air and slams the ball home. In the same vein Durant finds himself riding an epic slump. Even though he's 6'9" and has a wing span of over 7-feet, Durant has lost his ability to dunk. Again, disregarding the laws of physics. He only needs to jump about two inches off the ground to dunk the ball, but Brian has stolen his basketball powers and he's not giving them back.
Soon Brian joins the basketball team, becomes the most popular kid in school, and finds himself being coached by Jim Belushi. Now you know that this movie is a guaranteed stinker.
I don't know why multi-million dollar athletes continue to say yes to corny movies like this. There are far too many precedents set showing just how crappy they inevitably turn out (except 'Space Jam' because 'Space Jam' is all kinds of awesome). Maybe in the sequel Kevin Durant can magically steal someone's acting ability.
Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
Warner has provided a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack for this which also comes with an UltraViolet Digital Copy. A slipcover is also included with this release. It's a Region A release.
While the movie itself isn't worth watching, if you, for some reason, find yourself suffering through it, then you'll be glad to know that it looks good in HD. The 1080p Warner transfer is a sparkling presentation.
Detail is high across the board. In close ups you can see freckles, pores, and acne. Hair strands are individually visible. Clothing textures are noticeably detailed. Even the texture of the basketballs looks as lifelike as possible.
It does have that all too familiar digital look to it. It doesn't look cinematic at all. With that said, the movie looks clean and precise and never has any hiccups along the way. It may be a quickly produced, low-budget sorry excuse for a movie, but at least it looks good.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is solidly above average. It doesn't fly as high as the demo-quality stratosphere, but it does an accurate job at presenting the subject matter. The basketball games, both the Thunder games and Brian's high school games, are where the real surround sound experience occurs.
When Brian's legions of fans start chanting his name and cheering for the team the rear channels are filled with decent ambient sound. The echoes aren't deafening. Instead the movie provides just enough surround sound to keep you involved. Speech comes out clearly from the front speakers. Durant is a mumbler, and he mumbles every single one of his lines. Even so, you can still make out what he's saying.
I don't see how 'Thunderstruck' can be considered enjoyable. I don't know who would like to sit down and watch it either. I can't even imagine Kevin Durant sitting down to watch it and thinking it was good. It's pretty laughable and utterly mundane. There's not much to expect here, I get that. The truly baffling thing is why this was made in the first place. One to avoid.