A lot of times, it’s a beautiful thing when two of the best of their respective crafts comes together for a project. Legandary filmmaker Spike Lee has done it on numerous occassions — Denzel, Jim Brown and M.J. — and now Kobe.
Lee, with the help of the Los Angeles Lakers organization, collaborated with Kobe Bryant to film Kobe Doin’ Work, a documentary about the day in the life — rather a game in the life — of Laker Kobe Bryant.
The documentary was filmed during the Lakers matchup with the San Antonio Spurs on April 13, 2008. The film was premiered at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival and aired on ESPN and ESPN2 Saturday night.
Using 30 cameras, exclusive inside the locker room footage, microphones and Kobe’s very own commentary which was recorded after his 61 point output in Madison Square Garden on Feb. 2 you would assume that the film would be something special — something different. It wasn’t neither.
At best, Kobe Doin’ Work is an exaggerated ESPN film (oh, it is a ESPN Film) with Kobe doing an insight (albeit in hindsight) of the game that is kinda cool but not really groundbreaking. At worst, the film is just a rehashed game film.
Kobe Doin’ Work would have been a much better work if it was a documentary like what Lee did with Jim Brown: All-American — a film about Bryant from the beginning of his life up until the MVP trophy ceremony. (Which I’m pretty sure Jordan’s doc will be.) After great documentaries such as 4 Little Girls, the aforementioned All-American and When the Levees Broke, I would have expected more from Lee. Kobe Doin’ Work misses the shot.