In high school, Curry was considered too skinny and short for it—“150 pounds soaking wet” and about 6″2′. But Curry, with the wisdom of his pro-baller father, Dell Curry, developed a secret weapon, a crisp jump shot that weaponized the defensive line and could easily elevate his team’s lead by three, six, or nine points in a matter of nail-biting seconds. As this movie frustratingly shares only over the end credits, Curry changed how basketball teams use the defensive line it comes to shots. That’s a compelling point, but this movie doesn’t have the same analytical interest in the game or about deeply getting to know Curry. It’s just about what makes him keep going.
“Stephen Curry: Underrated” invests a surprising amount of time of the team who did not overlook him and, in turn, suffused his prodigious control of the ball with a great deal of confidence—his college team of Davidson College Wildcats under coach Bob McKillop. This relatively small basketball program believed in Curry’s skill over his size and created March Madness magic, as we see in this movie’s profiling of his college career. This chunk features interviews from Curry’s still-giddy teammates and McKillop, and paired with grainy old footage of Curry (including his college sketch comedy days!) can make for the movie’s most gratifying passages.
Throughout, Nicks will then cut to the modern Curry and the latest ways he may be underrated. He works on a thesis we hardly learn about, finishing his college degree from his Davidson years, and he deals with another one of his infamous foot injuries. But this highlights more of the doc’s larger problems, that its greatest get—verite footage—is more about casual access than insight. It makes for mild modern-day drama and hints at a project that had little goal than collecting images of Curry for a few months without going too deep, or asking any questions. In the process, the humanized elements from the past clips are lazily shielded by the fact that Curry is now a star. Even a wacky celebrity moment in which he’s filming a Subway commercial, transported via green screen to Italy, is weak with curiosity despite the humor in its abrupt inclusion. “Stephen Curry: Underrated” doesn’t get into what it’s like to be a superstar like Curry, so much as put a sheen over his constructs.