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TLO Movie Review: Thunderstruck (2012)

10-years after its release, Louis takes a look back at Thunderstruck.

3:35 AM EDT on November 4, 2022

Through the darkest magic possible, a dumb kid becomes a wisecracking pro-athlete, dribbling with his favorite basketball stars in NBA, only to find he’s rewriting the playbook on the hardest court of all…life. That movie was, of course, 2002’s Like Mike starring Lil’ Bow Wow.

2012’s Thunderstruck is, on the other hand, the off-brand version of that – a broken-fever dream starring Kevin Durant as himself, sadly.

Surprisingly not a Christian movie, it’s about all high school wannabe-jock Brian (Taylor Gray) trying out for the team, only to be cut only for being terrible. While the one-man blooper show does his thing, across town, Kevin Durant has a showstopping highlight reel, spotlighting that he’s the (apparently) greatest player ever.

Upset, Brian’s dad (Is this the guy from Herman’s Head? Yes!) takes him to a Thunder game to cheer him up. During half-time, Brian gets picked to shoot a half-court shot and misses. After the game, he gets to meet Kevin Durant and get an autograph when, magically, a cosmic connection happens with a possessed basketball and they flip basketball powers. Spooky!

From there, things are predictable and formuliac. Brian gets the girl and becomes the star of his high school team, while to the now delight of Thunder fans, Kevin becomes a basketball failure.

In the process, they learn the fundamentals of good sportsmanship, proper game etiquette, finding their true selves, and most importantly, watching out for body-switching movies from the director of Malibu’s Most Wanted.

While Gray is a horrible amateur actor, Kevin is knowingly terrible—he is the Michael Jordan of bad basketball movies. Also, Jim Belushi is wasted in the role of the high school coach, although it is nowhere close to According to Jim.

But, with cameos by the late Bob Barry Jr., Linda Cavanaugh, and one of the interchangeable Ogles – and Kevin Durant wearing a Thunder jersey – it adds to nostalgic suffering, and is a decent time-trip watch for those who don't mind bad movies.

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Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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