“White Men Can’t Jump” (2023): A Remake I Can Finally Get Behind


Elizabeth Ippolito

Cast: Jack Harlow, Sinqua Walls, Laura Harrier, and Lance Reddick
Directed By: Calmatic
Rating: 4/ 5

On May 19, 2023, Hulu released a remake of the 1992 film “White Men Can’t Jump”. The film had a ton of advertisements on social media to appeal to the Gen Z audience and casted rapper Jack Harlow, known for his hits “First Class” and “What’s Poppin”, in one of the main roles as well.

Both films follow two men with different personalities from completely different backgrounds as they find out they have more in common than they think while they hustle pickup basketball on the streets of California for money. While both films have different plots, they both follow this backbone that was started by the 1992 version.

The 1992 version of “White Men Can’t Jump” stars Woody Harrelson as Billy and Wesley Snipes as Sidney. Sidney gets hustled by Billy because he doesn’t look like a “typical” basketball player. The two go into business together hustling pickup basketball games in the Los Angeles area in attempts to make money. For Sidney, it’s to move his family to a nicer area. For Billy, it’s to make money to pay off his debts to a gang of mobsters and try to provide for his wife.

The 2023 version of “White Men Can’t Jump” stars Jack Harlow as Jeremy and Sinqua Walls as Kamal. This version follows Kamal as he attempts to bring himself to play basketball on a higher level after he was arrested prior to his college basketball career, leaving him to solely play pickup basketball. That’s where he finds Jeremy, a former collegiate basketball player turned hippie whose career was ruined due to an ACL tear. Kamal enlists Jeremy’s help when he hears of a two on two tournament with a $25,000 cash prize. The two hustle the Los Angeles streets in an attempt to make money to enter the tournament in hopes of getting their name out to play basketball on a higher level.

The film got horrible reviews, with audience members describing it as “dull”, “unimaginative”, and “corny”. With a critics score of 26% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 65% audience rate, this film can be deemed unsuccessful. But fans of the original film can enjoy all the nostalgia being brought back with this IP. When comparing the 1992 version to the 2023 version there are a lot of variations to go through. In the 2023 version, the characters are more defined with intriguing backstories that make them more relatable. The shot composition and music flow better in the 2023 version. But the 1992 version has that 90’s nostalgia and specific look that the 2023 version is missing.

The 2023 version of “White Men Can’t Jump” is definitely a film audiences should get around to seeing this summer, whether you’re a fan of “easy-watching” films, sports movies, or just need a good laugh, this film should be on your summer watch list.