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Slender Man Review: A strange choice for Brandon Ingram’s acting debut

Lakers forward Brandon Ingram is the best part of “Slender Man,” but it also might be the weirdest basketball movie of all time.

When his Los Angeles Lakers teammates started talking about Brandon Ingram being the star of Sony Pictures’ “Slender Man,” it seemed like an odd role choice for the sophomore star.

While it’s obvious that money was likely calling — as the studio had no choice but to pay Ingram a lot of cash given that he was one of the only people on the planet to fit the body type of the titular character — it still doesn’t make a ton of sense why the NBA star would agree to play such a poorly written villain in what might be the worst basketball movie of all time (For real, there are almost zero basketball scenes in this movie, despite the posters implying the contrary).

In fact, the role choice seemed so bizarre that it almost appeared like Kyle Kuzma and the rest of Ingram’s teammates were just kidding about him being in the film, but wouldn’t you know it, when I checked my movie pass it was right there, so since it was August and there is no NBA on anyway, I decided to go check out Ingram’s acting chops.

Those hoping to see a lot of Ingram, though, will be disappointed, as he isn’t on screen a ton in this film, and doesn’t have any speaking lines — again, an odd choice for the director given that Ingram was the biggest name in this movie, but also possibly a necessary one given that most microphones can’t pick up Ingram’s low mumble anyway.

Making matters worse, when Ingram is on screen, he was usually blurry or out of focus, and there were too many quick cuts to him and away from him, making it hard to focus on his acting anyway in what was almost surely a directorial oversight.

Ingram does deserve credit for going bold with his first choice of film. This movie is a hard PG-13 and could have been an R based on all the violence, and was a daring decision where most NBA stars keep their first foray into cinema family friendly.

And while there wasn’t a ton of basketball in “Slender Man,” the good news for Lakers fans is that Ingram did get to show some of his new basketball skills, which I tried to break down in the video below:

The biggest thing Ingram displayed was his closeout speed, as he often seemed to move so quickly that he was just kind of appearing in rooms and terrifying characters who probably would have shot if they didn’t see Ingram in range to contest their attempts so well.

So while Ingram was mostly just playing against relatively short teenage girls — meaning any signs of progress come with a grain of salt — he did show some indicators of growth on the basketball court, even if he is probably going to get called for fouls if he grabs people with his new tentacles in an NBA game.

Overall, “Slender Man” was pretty disappointing for those hoping to catch more of Ingram, and probably not really worth the trip to the movies for Lakers fans if Ingram is the only reason they’re going. For those desperate for more Ingram, just watch Pete’s video on him, wait for the Lakers’ season. or at chill until this film comes out on Netflix.

Harrison’s score: 8.0 out of 24.0.

If it wasn’t obvious, the preceding article and video were parody. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen if you enjoyed that review.

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