Hype! [1996]

Writer Ron Shelton (Tin Cup) and former National Lampoon scribe Tony Hendra collaborated on the script for this satire about a boxing promoter (Samuel L. Jackson) who gets behind a white fighter (Peter Berg) after his black slugger (Damon Wayans) is mired in a losing streak. While sharp and funny, it's never quite clear what the point of it all is. Director Reginald Hudlin (Boomerang) isn't strong enough or skilled enough as a filmmaker to make this level of satire leap off the screen; fortunately, he's got powerful allies in Jackson, Berg, Wayans, Jeff Goldblum, and the rest of the cast. --Tom Keogh

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