I spoke about Jason Statham playing the same character in every movie in my review of The Bank Job. Much the same, of course, could be said of Will Ferrell. He always seems to play different incarnations of the same wacky character in every film. Once more, this isn't inherently a bad thing, and it certainly keeps audiences happy. It does mean, however, that those who don't like Ferrell's characters don't like ANY of Ferrell's characters. Then again, you can't please everyone all of the time.

Semi-Pro could be described as the latest in Ferrell's occupational-based comedy films - others include Anchorman, Talladega Nights and Blades Of Glory. It follows Jackie Moon (Ferrell), owner/coach/player of ABA team the Flint Tropics in 1976. (While the American Basketball Association was a real league, Moon and the Tropics, naturally, were not.) The league announces that it is to merge with the NBA, and that the best four teams are to make the move to the NBA, while the other teams will dissolve. The Tropics are the worst team in the league, so Moon is determined to get them into the top four in order to save his team.

To this end, he buys Ed Monix, backup point guard for NBA Champions Boston Celtics - at the cost of the team's washing machine. It turns out that the love of Monix's life, Lynn (Maura Tierney) lives in Flint, which is why Monix agreed to the move. The only problem is Maura lives with her boyfriend Kyle, who hero worships Monix. Cue hilarious moment where Kyle walks in on Lynn cheating with Monix, only to begin masturbating at the sight of his hero getting off with his girlfriend.

Many of the film's funniest moments come from Moon's wild promotion gimmicks - free corndogs if the team score over 125 points, jumping 40 feet of cheerleader on roller-skates, and finally, wrestling a bear after a game. Ferrell is in his element during these farcical scenes, and drew big belly laughs from the entire cinema, myself included. Sometimes silly is funny.

While not as good perhaps as Anchorman, Semi-Pro is still top shelf Ferrell, and one of the funniest films I've seen in a long time, though doubtless it won't be to everyone's tastes. I'm going to give this an A-.

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