“The Last Dance” (2020) Movie Review

Dir; Jason Hehir. Starring; Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, Dennis Rodman. NR. 2020. 4800 Min.
You can argue all day, but in the end sports is the most unifying form of escapism in the world. A small town, state, or even country can be brought together by sports. Neighbors that hate each other can be friends in the stands for an afternoon as long as their team is winning. There are few “G.O.A.T.’s” that are undeniable in sports history. We’re talking legend beyond the game itself. One such figure would certainly be Michael Jefferey Jordan.
Known as the ‘Air Man’, Jordan was bigger than basketball. His presence was more than people could swallow which is one of the main plot points “The Last Dance” highlights. Several players he defeated as well as respected journalists say M.J. was ‘Black Jesus’. A statement that could offend the most religious of folks, it’s kind of true. Jordan is the central reason basketball overtook baseball in popularity. The NFL was already on the way to being the top American sport, but that is a separate conversation.
“The Last Dance” as ten one-hour episodes was a brilliant decision by writer/producer/director Jason Hehir. ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series has highlighted so many aspects of sports from the unsung to the millionaires to straight murderers like former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez. “Dance” sets itself apart by going deeper than any ESPN documentary dared in the networks’ 30 plus years.
Showing unbelievable plays by M.J. are stupid easy, and we see plenty of that. When it comes to the top 50 NBA players ever, you see Jordan dunk on more than half of them. Behind the scenes is the interesting side. Jordan was an a-hole. A complete freight train who will win at any cost. Get in his way, good luck to you.
Another aspect that is excellent in “Dance” is the multitude of players and coaches being candid having been removed from the game for years. Hall-of-famers on both sides of the ball come into the fray and give their two cents. Then Jordan, keeping it on brand, laughs the losers off. One of the highlights is former Seattle Sonic and Hall of Fame Point Guard Gary Payton saying he gave M.J. problems on defense. Watching the footage, Jordan just laughed and brought up that he won. Another great moment is when former Indiana Pacers star and H.O.F. Reggie Miller recounted game seven when they pissed Jordan off in game six, calling it one of the biggest mistakes of his career. As head coach Phil Jackson says, Jordan was a ticking time-bomb you don’t want to touch.  How telling was Dennis Rodman’s comment about playoff game 7 against the Indiana Pacers when recalling those last few moments of the game.  Rodman’s observation was that he KNEW what his role was going to be because there was no way in hell that MJ was gonna have anyone but him make the critical shot.
I was still a kid when Jordan was in his prime. Still, he is the best. LeBron lovers can argue for days. James is a better human being than M.J. The lack of social awareness is definitely highlighted in the documentary. I would much prefer to have dinner with LeBron than Jordan. But ultimately, “The Last Dance” is about the greatest basketball player of all time, not the greatest human being.
Suck Factor: 1 out of 7 (7 means your movie really SUCKS!)
Written by Byrd
The SUCK FACTOR, how it works. We have flipped the rating system upside down. If a film is classic, it gets a 0. Meaning that movie has 0 SUCKS. If a film is complete trash you must avoid at all costs, it gets a 7, meaning this movie really SUCKS!

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