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Reviewer's grade: B


As the latest sports comedy to star the great Will Ferrell, "Semi-Pro" is more than semi-funny, although not one that goes the distance. It's just like his other ball-oriented (in both senses of the phrase) laughers in that a hopelessly inept underdog rises to the top, but here's something completing different: an R rating.


Raunchy only in language, the film is rife with locker-room talk that will cut into some of Ferrell's moviegoing fan base, but some of the dirty stuff is worth the trouble. OutKast's André Benjamin and "Cheers" star Woody Harrelson may fill out the rest of the team lineup, but let's be clear that this is Ferrell's vehicle all the way, and it finds him doing what he does best: making a fool of himself for our enjoyment.


The jokes may not all hit - and this one's more spotty than usual - but scenes in which he wrestles a bear or plays with a loaded gun are among the funniest you're apt to see this season. R



-Rod Lott   


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