China's first basketball youth pic, complete with rap score, "Slam" scores high on energy and local flavor but lower on originality. looks to be Asian-American fests or Stateside events with Asian patrons.

China’s first basketball youth pic, complete with rap score, “Slam” scores high on energy and local flavor but lower on originality. Restlessly shot and edited, with a grungy, almost docu-like look, the first feature by musicvid/commercials helmer Jonathan Lim, a grad of both Gotham’s and Beijing’s film academies, eventually becomes rather engaging thanks to pure technique. However, its natural arena looks to be Asian-American fests or Stateside events with Asian patrons.

So socially inept that he can hardly approach a girl (Zhao Wenqi) who likes him, high schooler Big Mouth (Lin Xiaofan) is obsessed with basketball, while his dad (Wang Zhigang, good), who manages a sports-equipment store and is always getting his son out of trouble, is under pressure from his sleazy boss, a team manager. Big Mouth finds succor in his friendship with two other obsessives, old pal Monkey (Zhang Yishan) and Asian-American student Jason (Andrew Chou), who decide to prove themselves in a basketball tournament. Copious games are expertly edited for maximum adrenaline, and the finale packs a surprisingly emotional punch. Product placement by one sportswear company is heavy.

Slam

China

Production

A Crimson Forest Films, Beijing Crimson Culture & Media Co. production. (International sales: Crimson Culture, Beijing.) Produced, directed, written by Jonathan Lim (Lim Hua-lang).

Crew

Camera (color), Dennis Deng, Wang Peng; editor, Lim; music, Chris Wiebe. Reviewed at Shanghai Film Festival (Cheers for the Olympics -- Sports Films), June 15, 2008. Original title: Kou lan dui jue. Mandarin dialogue. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Lin Xiaofan, Zhang Yishan, Andrew Chou, Zhao Wenqi, Wang Zhigang.
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