I read Phil Rosenthal’s preview of “Rodman: For Better or Worse” in the Trib and my excitement mounted when Phil revealed Michael Jordan agreed to participate in the documentary. MJ limits his own exposure and remains extremely selective about interview requests. But His Airness chose this one. Dennis earned that recognition.
Jamie Foxx voices the film, which immediately establishes that it won’t take itself overly seriously. Not that the subject matter doesn’t warrant serious consideration. Dennis Rodman was a cultural phenomenon and a champion. But his entire life story beyond the trophies and wedding dresses is what makes the fame & success all the more compelling.
Isiah Thomas, John Salley & Bill Laimbeer provide insight on his time in Detroit. Never imagined getting choked up about the Bad Boys…but Dennis’ father figure connection with Chuck Daly got to me. David Robinson didn’t remember Rodman’s San Antonio stint too fondly. Jordan and Phil Jackson comment on the Bulls years. The rock star Dennis stuff was fun to relive and, of course, footage of the 2nd three-peat brings me great joy.
What I didn’t realize as a young man, while watching Rodman own Alonzo Mourning on defense, was the personal struggles of the man himself. All we saw was the rebounder, the headcase, the attention-seeker, the champion. Director Todd Kapostasy opens a window to what makes Rodman Rodman. Dennis is a bad father, a dictator’s friend and a hero for outcasts. His complicated relationship with his mother is tackled from multiple angles. You’re left at the end wondering what will become of Dennis Rodman…but hoping he finds redemption and peace of mind…against strong odds.
30 for 30s can be hit or miss. This one, unlike many Rodman free throws, is a swish.