“The Underdoggs” emanates from the heart and soul of rap legend and entrepreneur Snoop Dogg. With a seasoned presence in the movie industry, Snoop Dogg brings forth more than a few films to his credit. However, “The Underdoggs” stands out as a passion project for him, reflecting a pivotal aspect of his youth and his dedication to giving back through pee wee football. The film serves not only as a source of inspiration but also as a testament to Snoop Dogg’s enduring commitment to his roots and his desire to make a positive impact.
“The Underdoggs” is a narrative that authentically embodies the essence of its title. Drawing parallels to beloved films like “Mighty Ducks” and “Bad News Bears,” it follows the journey of a struggling pee-wee football league. This ensemble of undisciplined kids, lacking mentorship and struggling to realize their potential, suddenly find themselves without a coach. Fortunately, former football star J. J Jaycen “Two J’s” Jennings (played by Snoop) is forced to fulfill community service due to a tragic mishap. What initially begins as menial tasks “poop duty,” swiftly transforms into an opportunity for profound lessons and growth for all involved.
The movie centers around a compelling moral theme, enriched with comic jewels, primarily dropped by Mike Epps. But otherwise, it’s your typical feel-good film with some well-known personalities. The cast includes such names as George Lopez, Ryan Kauffman, Michael Strahan, Kandi Burruss, Deion Sanders, Terry Bradshaw, and Curt Menefee sprinkled in. Tika Sumpter plays a pivotal role as the team mom and love interest, adding depth to the narrative. Despite Snoop Dogg having a prominent role, the true stars of the show are the underperforming underdogs. This film reflects a lot of heart just what the little gridiron gang brings to the turf.
Right from the outset, viewers are issued a clear cautionary note: although this movie features children, it may not be suitable for all audiences. Those familiar with Snoop understand. The film doesn’t shy away from coarse language or direct references that some parents might find objectionable. There’s even a scene where the kids push boundaries a bit. If these elements don’t sit well with you, it might be best to skip this one. However, if you can overlook these aspects, it’s an enjoyable popcorn flick.
In terms of its storyline, “The Underdogg’s” falls into what many would consider cliché territory, echoing narratives that have been told numerous times before. The film follows a very formulaic structure, and its beats and rhythm are easily predictable. It adheres to the traditional core of storytelling, featuring a protagonist with a clear goal who encounters obstacles along the way. While Snoop Dogg’s character experiences growth throughout the film, those seeking fresh and unexpected storytelling will not find it here.
Although Snoop Dogg takes on the leadership role admirably, there are moments in the film where his performance may feel a bit forced and preachy. However, considering the film’s overarching theme of inspiration and its dedication to uplifting others, these elements are somewhat anticipated and align with the central message of the story.
“The Underdogg’s” provides an entertaining experience that seamlessly fits into the conventions of its genre, like a well-fitted puzzle piece. If you find yourself with the time and in need of a pick-me-up, “The Underdogg’s” is likely to be the perfect choice. It’s currently available for streaming on Prime.