Picks and Pans Review: The Air Up There

updated 01/10/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/10/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

Kevin Bacon

Bacon is an unhappy, hotheaded assistant coach at a Catholic college. A bit sloshed on red wine at a fund-raising dinner, he spots a tall African teenager (6'8" Charles Gitonga Maina) playing basketball in a video sent by a missionary. That, he decides, will be his greatest recruit.

All of this is mildly entertaining, as Bacon journeys from his snow-covered campus to the African jungle in search of his potential star. But then Mr. Formula lumbers in, out of breath from lugging his bag of tricks. One can only sigh, or fidget, over the feisty missionary nun, the chiefs prodigal elder son and Bacon's moral rejuvenation during a climactic basketball game. By that point the movie has long been on automatic pilot. (PG)

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