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Crossover (2006 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theatrical release poster
Directed byPreston A. Whitmore II
Produced byFrank Mancuso Jr.
Written byPreston A. Whitmore II
StarringAnthony Mackie
Wesley Jonathan
Wayne Brady
Kristen Wilson
Lil' JJ
Philip 'Hot Sauce' Champipon
Eva Pigford
Alecia Fears
Music byMatthias Weber
TriStar Pictures
360 Pictures
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • September 1, 2006 (2006-09-01)
Running time
111 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$5.8 million
Box office$7,009,668[1]

Crossover is a 2006 American basketball film. Crossover stars Anthony Mackie, Wesley Jonathan, Wayne Brady, and Philip Champion in his film debut. It was written and directed by Preston A. Whitmore II and produced by Frank Mancuso Jr. Crossover was shot primarily in two cities in the United States, Detroit and Los Angeles. It was filmed between July 22, 2005 and August 28, 2005.


The movie starts with sports agent and bookie Vaughn (Wayne Brady) riding through Detroit, Michigan setting up wagers for an upcoming basketball game that he is in charge of. One of the protagonist of the film, Tech (Anthony Mackie) is the frontman of his streetball team (Enemy of the State) and he is determined to take down Jewelz (Phillip "Hot Sauce" Champion) and his team "Platinum". Before the game starts, Tech calls his friend (and the other protagonist) Noah Cruise to participate in the game. Noah is very reluctant but ends up playing after Tech says "Look, you owe me man. You owe me". In the first game, we also see one of Tech's best friends, Up (Lil JJ) rooting for him on the sidelines. During the game, Vaughn explains the game of streetball to his girlfriend Nicki who has come from Los Angeles to visit him. Tech's team ends up losing the game. This is where we see that although they are best friends, Tech and Cruise live in completely different environments. Noah is a naturally talented basketball player who receives an athletic scholarship to UCLA. His mother has died and he has moved from a 7 Mile neighborhood in north Detroit to the prestigious Palmer Woods neighborhood to live with his grandmother. Although he is a skilled player, Cruise wishes to use his scholarship to become a medical doctor. Tech on the other hand, still lives in a run-down Detroit neighborhood where he has to help his mother pay for groceries and pay the bills.

Nikki tells Vaughn that she is not fond of the lifestyle he has in Detroit (hosting illegal basketball games and running nightclubs), and tells him that she wants him to live in LA with her. While at work at Foot Locker, Cruise tells Tech that he has two tickets to his college's orientation in California so he invites Tech. A girl named Eboni walks in and invites Tech to a tattoo party. While talking to Ebony, Jewelz and the rest of his team walks in and brag about their victory over Tech's team. While on their lunch break, Vaughn approaches Tech and Cruise in an attempt to persuade Cruise to join the NBA. Cruise has a reputation as one of the best basketball players in the state, so Vaughn tries to recruit Cruise at every chance he gets. Cruise mentions that he has no interest in the NBA and wants to be a Doctor after finishing college. Because of NCAA collegiate rules, a sports player cannot earn money from playing any outside sports. If they do, their scholarship is revoked (which is why Cruise was so reluctant to play the first basketball game in the beginning of the film). Vaughn mentions that although Cruise didn't directly take any money, Vaughn paid Tech and Tech paid the other members on the team. Cruise leaves out of anger but Tech calms him down and invites him to the tattoo party that Eboni invited Tech to.

At the party, Eboni introduces Tech and Cruise to her friend Vanessa (who turns out to be Jewelz's ex-girlfriend). Vanessa and Cruise are instantly attracted to each other and start dancing. While at the party, Tech tells Eboni his dreams about playing professional ball, and how he is focused on getting his GED. Turns out that Tech never went to the 12th grade, as he ended up going to jail for 4 months for assault. Meanwhile, Cruise tells Vanessa about how he is going to California for college to become a doctor, and then they share a kiss. Tech and Cruise then bring Eboni and Vanessa to Cruise's home where they all relax in the pool. Cruise goes behind Tech's back and gives his second ticket to the orientation trip to Vanessa instead. When he tells Tech about it, Tech is not upset because he also asked Eboni to go with him as well.

Tech goes to Up's home to invite him to play basketball. In order for Tech to raise money for the California trip, they run a scheme against other players where they pretend they do not know each other and Up dresses up as a nerdy kid on the sidelines and Tech challenges other players by saying "I bet me and four-eyes over there can beat anybody". As the days go by, they continue doing this and it works in their favor as they travel to different basketball courts doing it.

Cruise and Vanessa go out to dinner where she reveals she is pregnant, which excites Cruise. Vaughn suddenly appears and tries to convince Cruise some more to join the NBA, while Vanessa is hearing the entire conversation which causes her to want Cruise to join the NBA as well. Vaughn's attempt is unsuccessful and Cruise and Vanessa then leave. Meanwhile, Tech and Up's strategy gets compromised when a group of guys recognize them from a different court and catch on to their scheme. The guys try to beat up Tech and Up but they manage to escape.

While in LA Tech is performing in a commercial that he was offered a few weeks back from a casting director. After the shoot is done, one of the workers tells Tech that he is not going to be in the commercial and that the work he did was simply stunt-double work for someone else. He goes back and ram-shacks his trailer and then storms back to the hotel with Eboni. Vanessa and Cruise have lunch where Cruise proposes to Vanessa and out of excitement, she asks him is he going to play in the NBA. Cruise tells Vanessa the deep reason why he doesn't really like basketball and would rather be a doctor - The night Cruise's mother is in the hospital dying, when he arrived to the hospital, there was a doctor that recognized him and said how he loved watching him playing basketball and that he remembers a 40-point game that Cruise had. Cruise mentions to Vanessa "my mother is laying there dying, and all he can talk about is me scoring 40 points. I don't know, I guess in the grand scheme things, basketball just isn't that important to me". Vanessa reminds Cruise that he should be scared that Vaughn will tell the media that Cruise played in one of his illegal basketball games. But Cruise reminds her that since he didn't play for money, Vaughn wouldn't gain anything from telling.

Tech tells Eboni to "play her role" and that he thinks Eboni is only with him because he paid for her to come to LA and she doesn't truly like him. Eboni then slaps Tech when he says that her life wasn't anything special before she met him. Cruise and Vanessa arrive and Tech tells Cruise to mind his business when he asks what happened at the commercial. Vanessa defends Cruise and tells Tech that the only reason he is friends with him is because he is jealous of Cruise and wants his lifestyle. Tech tells Vanessa that Cruise wouldn't have his lifestyle if it wasn't for him.

The big secret is finally revealed. Tech was sent to jail for 4 months because one night when he and Cruise were at a party, Cruise became very drunk and assaulted a rich guy. Because Tech did not want Cruise grandmother's heart to get broken, he took the blame for Cruise and went to jail instead. This is also why in the beginning of the film, Tech told Cruise "you owe me" when Cruise did not want to play in the streetball game in fear of losing his scholarship. Tech then leaves by himself to go back to Detroit.

When Cruise returns to work at Foot Locker, his manager tells him that Tech was fired for taking time off work without permission. Eboni goes to Tech's house to talk to him, but Up answers the door and lies to Eboni and says that Tech isn't home. Tech then goes to a basketball court to clear his mind, at which point Cruise arrives to apologize. Tech mentions that what Vanessa said in the hotel was 100% true and that he is jealous of Cruise because he has "the gift" and Cruise doesn't want it but Tech does. Cruise then tells Tech that somebody reported to the media that Cruise played in an illegal basketball game for money, thus, he lost his scholarship. Tech asks him that since he lost his scholarship, is he going to accept Vaughn's offer and go to the NBA, but Cruise denies and says that he is going to community college and then transfer to university afterward as he still wants to be a doctor. Tech tells him that he is going to community college as well as he finally passed his GED test. Cruise agrees to play on Tech's team in the next basketball game, then leaves and goes to Vanessa's house.

At Vanessa's home, Cruise tells her that he lost his scholarship and that they won't be moving to Los Angeles. Vanessa mentions that it's not that big of a deal because now he can join the NBA. She is stunned when Cruise tells her that he is not going to the NBA either and that he will stay in Detroit and go to community college. Vanessa instantly says she's not interested in the relationship anymore. She also tells him that she was wrong about being pregnant by him and that the baby belongs to Jewelz. Vanessa openly admits that she has been playing Cruise and that she knew all along that he wasn't the father. But since Cruise came into her life with a free-trip to Los Angeles and the opportunity to become a basketball star, she chose to be with him. Cruise drives home heartbroken and ends up getting into a motorcycle accident.

In his hospital bed, Cruise softly whispers to Tech how Vanessa lied to him. The next day Tech storms in to the nail salon where Vanessa and Eboni both work and tells her how he knows that she was the one that told the media that Cruise played in the illegal basketball game vaughn held. Vanessa denies the accusation but Tech knows she is lying and leaves. Tech and Eboni then go to a wagering shop and Tech bets $10,000 that Enemy of the State will beat Platinum in the next game. Tech received the $10,000 in the mail from the commercial he did back in Los Angeles (revealing that even though he won't physically be in the commercial, he still got paid for the work he did).

Tech is then having a meeting with his team at a basketball court. Vaughn arrives and tells Tech that he heard about the $10,000 bet, and he returns the money to Tech and tells him the bet is off. The bet was that if the Platinum team scores over 11 points, then Tech loses the bet. Even if Platinum loses the game, if they score over 11 points, then Vaughn wins the $10,000. Vaughn tells Tech that he can't beat Jewelz' team because they haven't lost a game in three years. Tech instantly changes the subject and brings up how Vaughn was the mastermind behind Cruise losing his scholarship. Vaughn states how he didn't say anything to the media, but Tech figures out that even though Vaughn didn't directly say anything, he was aware of Vanessa's gold-digging lifestyle and that's why he talked to Cruise about the NBA in front of Vanessa (because he knew that Vanessa would tell the media instead- which she did). Vaughn silently admits that Tech is right and he accepts the bet.

At the basketball game, Up takes Cruise's spot on the team and Tech wears Cruise's jersey. The final possession comes down to Enemy of the State leading the game 19-11. Up makes the final 2-pointer and wins the game for Enemy of the State 21-11 (since Platinum didn't score more than 11 points, Tech wins the $10,000 bet as well). After the game, Vaughn offers Tech a spot as one of his players under his management and how they can make so much money together because "Great minds think alike". Tech corrects him and says that "Great minds think for themselves", and uses the analogy of how Cruise wanted to get an education and be a doctor, but everybody else wanted him to join the NBA. Tech declines Vaughn's offer and then walks out of the basketball arena.

In a voice-over "Where Are They Now?" segment, Up reveals what happened to everyone afterwards:

Vaughn - Vaughn was really bothered that Tech did not accept his offer. Therefore, he sold his nightclub, shut down the basketball arena, and moved to Los Angeles to be with Nikki Reed. Post-credits show him becoming a male stripper and bringing Ice Cube into a dark back room.

Jewelz - Jewelz broke his ankle in a streetball game and ended up opening up a strip-club. Turns out Jewelz was not the father of Vanessa's child either, though he did offer to buy a child off her.

Vanessa - Vanessa had 2 more kids and still works part-time at the nail salon. She won the lottery and moved to Sydney Australia.

Cruise - Cruise got out of the hospital with a clean bill of health. Graduated from community college, and then moved to Atlanta Georgia to attend Morehouse School of Medicine.

Eboni - Eboni moved to New York and got a job as a make-up artist for commercials and television shows. Up also says that she is still seeing tech as well, but only for sexual reasons.

Tech - Played basketball for the team at his community college and got the attention of some sports scouts. These scouts helped Tech get a spot on the El Madrid team in the Euroleague before Tech dropped out and joined the Air Force.

Up - Went on to play for Osborne High School, where he earned honorable mention All-Metro League accolades in his sophomore year as well as academic all-city accolades. He eventually married Brian.



Critical response

Crossover was heavily panned by critics. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 2% approval rating based on 65 reviews, with an average score of 3.24/10. The site's critical consensus states: "This heartfelt but incompetent, cliche-ridden sports picture is the cinematic equivalent of an airball."[2]

The Seattle Times' Jeff Shannon saw the film's "blatantly formulaic" parts throughout the runtime with its "rudimentary filmmaking, predictable plot elements, amateur acting" and broad conclusion, but commended Whitmore for utilizing his limited resources to create a project that grows on you past the first five minutes, saying that "Crossover has a built-in audience that won't be disappointed, especially if you go in with low expectations."[3] Gregory Kirschling from Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "C−" grade, saying "Crossover skimps on court-level pyrotechnics (we get a game in the beginning and, of course, a big game at the end, and that's about it) in favor of dry urban melodrama."[4] Despite giving credit to the rapport between Mackie and Jonathan's characters and Brady's role as the antagonistic sports agent, Tom Meek of The Phoenix was critical of the movie being a "flimsy cut-out of Ron Shelton's White Men Can't Jump by way of Hoop Dreams" due in part to hackneyed plot devices, "low production values" and Whitmore's "stilted direction", resulting in a streetball tale being filled with "hip-hop flash and contrivance."[5] Scott Tobias of The A.V. Club criticized Whitmore's "amateurish" production for constructing a faux Detroit locale that strands the cast with delivering awkward scenes and failing to say anything new about street basketball that White Men Can't Jump already told before, saying that "Crossover doesn't have the competence to make it exciting or the desire to explore what's really at stake for these players."[6]

USA Today's Claudia Puig felt the lack of "gripping, adrenaline-fueled" streetball scenes was the movie's downfall, saying "Nothing feels very underground or edgy about this urban melodrama, which bogs down in a clichéd story and leaden dialogue."[7] The Austin Chronicle's Marjorie Baumgarten found the film's characters and story elements "predictable and heavy-handed", and the basketball action lackluster to engage viewers, concluding that "Whitmore tries out all sorts of zappy camera edits, yet when it comes to filming a basketball game, he shoots mainly air balls. Crossover tries hard but never makes the leap."[8] Nick Schager of Slant Magazine heavily lambasted Whitmore for taking the style over substance approach when ineptly directing both his basketball and dramatic scenes, and his script for telling a hypocritical moral lesson about "pro-education and anti-athletic glory", calling it "a pathetic imitation of an emotionally engaging, professionally made movie."[9] Desson Thomson of The Washington Post said the film could've been "a truly terrible movie to savor for the ages", highlighting Whitmore's filmmaking style of "frenetically edited montages with de rigueur hip-hop" in the bookend court scenes, overly saccharine moments being accompanied by "lachrymose saxophone riffs", and the one-note cast delivering laughable dialogue but felt it maintained its position of "middle-of-the-road badness", concluding that "[I]t's simply too dull and meandering to merit impassioned disdain. It just sits there, warming the bench and only dreaming of the dubious big time. Even as a howler of a movie, it doesn't have game."[10]

Box office

The film also did poorly at the box office, earning roughly US$3.7 million on opening weekend, grossing just over $7 million by the end of its short-lived 29 days in theaters – though its budget of only $5.8 million, plus associated marketing and theater expenses, may have minimized net losses.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Crossover". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  2. ^ "Crossover (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on August 17, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  3. ^ Shannon, Jeff (September 1, 2006). ""Crossover": Formulaic, manipulative, heartwarming — hey, foul!". The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times Company. Archived from the original on December 6, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  4. ^ Kirschling, Gregory (August 30, 2006). "Crossover". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on September 28, 2020. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  5. ^ Meek, Tom (September 6, 2006). "Crossover". The Phoenix. Phoenix Media/Communications Group. Archived from the original on September 7, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2019. 1.5/4 stars
  6. ^ Tobias, Scott (September 1, 2006). "Crossover". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Archived from the original on November 24, 2019. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  7. ^ Puig, Claudia (September 1, 2006). "Crossover". USA Today. Gannett. Retrieved June 21, 2019. 1.5/4 stars
  8. ^ Baumgarten, Marjorie (September 8, 2006). "Crossover". The Austin Chronicle. Archived from the original on June 21, 2019. Retrieved June 21, 2019. 1/5 stars
  9. ^ Schager, Nick (August 28, 2006). "Review: Crossover". Slant Magazine. Archived from the original on June 21, 2019. Retrieved June 21, 2019. .5/4 stars
  10. ^ Thomson, Desson (September 1, 2006). "'Crossover': A Dribble Of Cliches". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings LLC. Archived from the original on June 22, 2019. Retrieved June 22, 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 12 May 2021, at 05:26
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