A superficial and predictable sports drama with an inner-city background, ABOVE THE RIM nevertheless offers engaging characters, fast-paced direction, and strong performances by several young African-American actors.
Kyle (Duane Martin), a basketball star at a Harlem high school, plans to play in a neighborhood tournament, the Uptown Shootout, on a team fielded by his school coach, Mike Rollins (David Bailey). But after Kyle receives a tongue-lashing from Rollins, he defects to a squad sponsored by Birdie
(Tupac Shakur), a drug dealer who buys his loyalty with gifts.
The school's new security guard, Shep (Leon), is recognized by local derelict Flip (Bern...