Netflix Garage: Longshot (2001) Recap/Review

Welcome to the latest of Netflix Garage! I’m breaking the rules with this review because you can’t actually find this flick on Netflix.

While listening to Rick Dees’s 2000s playlist (basically every week they play exactly what they played in that week in 1992, 2002, and so on), the DJ mentioned a direct-to-video film called Longshot, featuring all of your favorite boy bands such as *NSYNC and pop-hip hop trio LFO! Also, Paul Sorvino.

So much talent in one low resolution photo!

So what’s the film actually about? According to IMDB…

A twenty-something tennis instructor/gigolo gets embroiled in a scheme involving seduction and insider trading.

Just fantastic. If that’s not enough to convince you, it was written by Lou Pearlman, serial boy band manager and uber-creep. It sounds a mess, so I felt utterly compelled to hunt this thing down and take a look.

The film starts with two members of O-Town (remember them?) watching an infomercial that features the same two members of O-Town. This film is already off to a great start. The infomercial O-Town members are hawking a video of a film called…Longshot. That’s right, this is a movie within a movie.

The informercial is just two young guys screwing around. I doubt there was a script.

The rest of the O-Town members arrive to see what all the fuss is about. They also apparently all live in the same house because Lou Pearlman needs access to the boys at all times. Anyway, it turns out one of the members actually purchased the Longshot video, much to the delight of the rest of the group. They rag on the poor fella. He fully deserves it though.

The only thing more pathetic than buying the movie is having been in the movie.

After this long, stupid sequence, we finally get to see the actual Longshot film.

The film kicks off with a basketball game featuring Bradley from Home Improvement, Topanga from Boy Meets World, and music by one of the boy bands enlisted for this movie. The team we’re meant to be rooting for is having a rough go of it as the team is plain bad. The goofy coach calls on the film’s protagonist, Alex, to help. Alex bottles it and is booed by everyone.

Topanga asks Alex about prom just as he’s about to run onto the court. She’s being set up as a creepy hot girl.

We cut to the next scene where Alex is moping to his big brother, Jack. Big bro talks about confidence which he definitely has in spades considering he’s got frosted tips.

We quickly move onto the next scene which features the king of frosted tips: Justin Timberlake. He’s a valet at a fancy country club and is getting a grilling from his boss for having “lost” a car. Losing a whole car is a pretty impressive feat. Justin takes the keys from a guest and shifts the responsibility of the car to another valet, all while giving the new guy bad advice on handling cars. Oh, isn’t he cheeky!

If Justin tries to be funny in this movie, I’m going to lose it.

The film shifts focus back to Alex at school. It also decides to introduce a brand-new framing device. We’re 10 minutes into the film and a voiceover just straight up appears out of nowhere. The voice is Jack’s and he’s telling us how much Alex suffers from low confidence. Big bro doesn’t get it because as a personal trainer, self-belief is pretty much a requirement. We then get a montage of Jack being “confident” with his personal training clients.

Confidence is telling 20-something year old women to bend their knees for “personal training” reasons.

Back to Alex. His boss Gilbert Gottfried chews him out for being late for work at the music store. Gottfried then verbally AND sexually assaults some of the record store patrons. Topanga enters the store and gets in on the sexual assaults action. She wants Alex to take her to prom, not her boyfriend.

Pictured: Boy meeting world

As Alex lives his personal hell, Jack is practicing safe driving by being on the phone with his broker. His phone call doesn’t last very long as Jack finds himself being chased by some hooligans in poorly tailored suits. The hooligans yank Jack out of his sweet ride, blow up said sweet ride, plonk him into the backseat of their car, drag him up to the roof of a building, push him into a helicopter, and finally throw him out of the helicopter, all so he can meet the film’s big boss. Waste of petrol and film time.

The big boss is none other than Paul Sorvino. He’s angry because Jack banged his wife. According to Jack, the woman said her husband had left her, so she was fair game.

The big boss lets out a heavy sigh when he reveals himself. I think that came more from Paul Sorvino than his character.

To intimidate Jack, Paul shows him a man getting hit by baseballs. He then lets him go.

We catch up with Alex at school. He sits with a nerd who appears to be his only friend. Topanga sneaks a peek at Alex and this sets off her boyfriend, Brad from Home Improvement. Brad goes on a rampage and even punches the nerd! The whole thing is stopped by an older nerd.

“What would your dad Tim Allen say?!”

Alex goes boxing with his brother to help deal with his crummy day. Unfortunately, Alex’s day gets even worse as Jack informs his lil bro that he must leave town for a week. Jack jets off on Planet Airways.

Jack gets pretty close to beating up Britney Spears, the flight attendant.

The flight is being operated by Kenny Rogers, Lance Bass, and another musician that I can’t identify.

Lance Bass says the words “in sync” and does this. I fucking hate this movie.

The flight is experiencing a wild bout of turbulence and Jack is being served by an aggressively offensive gay stereotype. What in the fresh hell is happening?

No joke, this guy makes a nut related euphemism and calls Jack delicious.

Jack loads up a CD into his laptop and accesses highly restricted information supplied by Paul Sorvino. Unfortunately for Paul, Jack is stupid. The personal trainer blasts the audio for the whole plane to hear. Jack is now presumably a secret agent and needs to get some information from a woman named Rachel. Paul threatens to hurt Alex if Jack doesn’t get the job done.

Let’s check in on Alex. He gets his tires slashed and an old woman short changes him at the record store, causing his paycheck to be docked. Business as usual.

If Paul Sorvino took one look at this kid, he’d probably let him live. Alex’s life is way worse than death.

In New York, Jack meets his mark, Rachel. He gets her drunk, but somehow doesn’t get the information for Paul. Paul should just hit him with baseballs. Jack sets up another convenient meet-cute with Rachel and invites her out for dinner. She agrees. He says he’ll be “there,” but he never establishes where “there” is. Thankfully, New York City only has three restaurants.

Back at the record store, Art Garfunkel buys an LFO CD.

Rachel wears her finest butterfly clips to her date with Jack. She uses this opportunity to tell Jack that she has a daughter and that she’d like him to meet her. This plot is molasses, but Rachel sure isn’t.

Jack flies Alex to New York to set him up with Rachel’s daughter. The two teenagers go out for pizza that is served by *NSYNC and is haunted by various other boy bands.

Joey Fatone from The Masked Singer and the other *NSYNC guy share comedic scenes where nobody laughs.

The teenagers then go to knock off MTV beach party that doubles as a Star Search competition. Rachel’s daughter peer pressures Alex to sing. Luckily, he’s got the pipes of a boy bander.

I was going to make fun of this incredibly dated photo. But Jesus, I just realized I was roughly the age of the protagonist of this film. Nothing like watching a bad film to remind you of your mortality.

While Alex is on the way to getting a brand-new girlfriend, Jack is torn on whether or not to kill Rachel for the information. He decides that he shouldn’t be a murderer and tells Rachel the truth, spoiling their romantic dinner. Rachel fake cries and rejects Jack.

“How could a man I’ve known for five days betray me like this?!”

We thought Alex’s luck was turning around, but no. No one taught Alex or his girlfriend that they shouldn’t be in the park at night unless you’re a sexual deviant or a crackhead. Because of this boneheaded decision, they are aggressively approached by the Rock who lunges at Alex with a knife. Alex somehow manages to beat up the Rock.

This kid.

Rachel visits Jack at his penthouse apartment which I guess Paul Sorvino has put up for him? You see, Alex vouched for him, so Jack is back in her good books. Jack, Alex, Rachel, and Rachel’s daughter work together to taken down Paul Sorvino. It’s like an even crapper Captain Planet.

A personal trainer and high school kid pull a heist at Paul Sorvino’s New York offices. I’m not sure what they’ve stolen, but Jack uses a piece of paper he found to trick Paul into buying some bad stock. This appears to be illegal, so Paul Sorvino goes to jail.

Alex goes back to his charmed life in LA. He immediately gets into a fight with Brad from Home Improvement, but thanks to what he learned from his scuffle with the Rock, Alex knocks Brad out. His day gets even better as he acquires tickets to a professional basketball game.

Pro games take place in high school gymnasiums, too.

It just so happens that this is the day when an attendee can win $3 million if they make a basket from halfway down the court. Every character in the film is inexplicably watching this game on their televisions. Alex wins the $3 million.

It appears the film is over because as soon as Alex makes the shot, we cut to O-Town and Jermaine Jackson who are celebrating the amazing film they just watched.

I forgot about them too.

We get an epilogue where we find out that Jack’s broker becomes CFO of Chippendales; Alex’s nerd friend also wins a million dollars and opens a karate school; Antonio Sabato Jr (Jack’s friend that I left out) opens a sleazy nightclub; Jack and Rachel open an online investment company; Alex becomes a singer; and Lou Pearlman moves to Florida to manage boy bands.

This is what happened to Paul Sorvino.

REVIEW
This movie was obviously a ball of hot garbah-ge. I was hoping at least one boy bander would have a key role but that was never to be. They crammed in as many boy bands and random musicians as possible which is either incredibly distracting or very satisfying, depending on why you bothered to watch the thing.

The flow of this film was way way off. We kept whipping back and forth between Alex and Jack, causing one to lose track of what was important to the plot. They tried to fix this with the unnecessary voiceover, but this film is no Goodfellas. As for the acting, the film had Paul Sorvino which made up for at least two actors, but there were too many terrible ones, so he couldn’t carry all the weight. I suggest not watching this movie.

Next film: Christian Mingle. I also am also open to suggestions.

STRAY THOUGHTS

  • Nary a minute into the film and one of the O-Town members flubs a line.
  • I’m one of the people that thinks Justin Timberlake is not funny and cannot act. My mind won’t be swayed.
  • Jack makes a meta comment about feeling like he’s in a teen movie with lots of cameos. It’s stupid.
  • God, this film sucks.
  • Alex is constantly being stared at or groped by the girls at school. It’s weird.
  • Screech and Lisa Turtle are in this for a combined time of seven seconds.
  • Extremely weird fun fact: Antonio Sabato Jr and Gilbert Gottfried share a birthday which would be today if this year was a leap year.
  • Paul Sorvino literally ends a phone call with Jack by saying “Goodbye, stupid.” Best line in the film.
  • There were too many cameos for me to clock. An LFO member is a cop who ogles a woman and calls her a “summer girl.”
  • Pedo Perlman makes a cameo as a fat cop who wants a doughnut.