He Got Game is basketball poetry in motion and an essential collaboration between Spike Lee and Denzel Washington
Since “He Got Game” quotes the Ten Commandments squarely (“You shall not kill”, Jake), it would be easy to think that the whole movie is one long game of breaking the second or third commandment (the one of taking the name of the Lord in vain). The name of Jesus is even moaned in a graphic threesome that took a friend of mine by surprise, if only because they were watching the movie with their mother.
However, if you take it at face value and consider that Lee deliberately invokes the name of Jesus over and over again, his dialogue has an interesting effect. Subtextually, the line between Jesus Shuttlesworth, the character, and Jesus Christ, the religious figure, becomes so blurred that at a certain point, when the viewer hears the name “Jesus”, his head spins and he is no longer. clear who the Subject is.
Perhaps it’s both Jesus S. and Jesus C. Lines taking on a double meaning, as the film as a whole begins to read, on some level, as a commentary on the selfish nature of the relationship. people to God (or their concept of God, if they have one).
Everyone wants something from Jesus. You might as well call him Jesus Christ B-Ball Star. They come at him from all sides, clinging to his robes like lepers, each trying to steer this young man to a college team that will benefit them. Jesus himself just wants to do Lincoln’s roll call in the locker room with his boys, rapping, “My name’s Jesus / I’m the man / What’s with these questions? / About of my plan.”
As he sits in the office with his unctuous trainer, Jesus remarks:
“People don’t care about me. They care about themselves. I mean, they’re just trying to get over it, trying to get a piece of Jesus, that’s all.”