R-Rated Comedy On Max Is A Bona Fide Classic

By Robert Scucci | Published

  • White Men Can’t Jump is streaming on Max
  • White Men Can’t Jump stars Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson
  • The movie holds up as a comedy even decades later

Of all the sports comedies that have been released over the decades, White Men Can’t Jump has claimed its place on the top of the food chain for its use of trash-talking alone. Taking place behind chain-link fences at public basketball courts, this buddy comedy will make you want to get together with your friends to shoot hoops while hurling insults of the highest order at each other in the name of fun.

If you want to truly capture the spirit of the movie, it’s not a bad idea to throw down some cash to wager on the game’s outcome.

White Men Can’t Jump Is Streaming

wesley snipes white men cant jump

White Men Can’t Jump is a hilarious story about two struggling basketball players trying to make a living by betting on unsanctioned pickup games.

We’re introduced to Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson), who used to play college ball but now spends his time conning other players out of their cash.

His main strategy is showing up at basketball courts occupied by black players who think he’s an easy mark, and then overpowering them with his superior skill.

Wesley Snipes And Woody Harrelson

Wesley Snipes Woody Harrelson

Not knowing that Billy is a better player than he’s letting on, Sidney “Syd” Deane (Wesley Snipes) is up for a game but quickly loses to Billy.

It doesn’t take Syd very long to realize what Billy’s up to, and the two adversaries form a partnership because they’re both tirelessly trying to get out of their current living situations.

Not knowing that Syd is also more clever than he’s letting on, Billy loses a substantial amount of money in the first act of White Men Can’t Jump when Syd deliberately throws a game and splits the winnings, along with Bill’s wager, with the opposing team.

The Mob Is Involved Too

Wesley Snipes white men can't jump

Meanwhile, Billy and his girlfriend, Gloria (Rosie Perez), are actively hiding from a couple of mobsters named the Stucci Brothers, who Billy owes a substantial amount of money to from past gambling debts.

Billy’s poor impulse control in White Men Can’t Jump constantly gets the better of him, as he continually gets involved in schemes that wipe out whatever winnings he makes, putting him at odds with Syd who is largely responsible for egging him on.

Oh, And There’s Also Jeopardy!

The side plot in White Men Can’t Jump involves Gloria and her relentless desire to become a contestant on Jeopardy!. With the help of Syd, Gloria gets onto the game show and wins a large sum of money. Billy, in his infinite wisdom, wants to use a portion of her winnings to participate in a high-stakes game against two legendary street players to help Syd recover from a burglary at his home.

Constantly Butting Heads

Through Billy and Syd’s adversarial-turned-amicable relationship in White Men Can’t Jump, we’re presented with a story that transcends sports and has mass appeal.

Though Billy and Syd constantly butt heads throughout the film, their respective partners constantly push them to do the right thing even though they’ll have to put their egos aside to work together to achieve a common goal.

Despite the less-than-desirable living situations that both Billy and Syd are trying to gamble their way out of, White Men Can’t Jump is an optimistic film about two unlikely friends overcoming their differences and having each other’s back in the face of adversity.

Critical And Commercial Hit

White Men Can’t Jump quickly became a commercial hit upon its release, earning over $90 million against its reported budget of $31 million. Roger Ebert praised the film for leaning so heavily into its characters as much as its premise.

Critics wholeheartedly agree that the chemistry between Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes is brought to stratospheric heights with the support of Rosie Perez often functioning as the voice of reason amidst their constant bickering and willingness to best each other.

Across 107 reviews, White Men Can’t Jump garnered a 75 percent critical score on Rotten Tomatoes, making it a timeless classic.

Whether you’re an avid basketball fan or just want to witness Woody Harrelson insinuate that his opponents should become Freemasons because they’re throwing so many bricks, White Men Can’t Jump is a must-see, and should be the next sports comedy that you stream on Max.