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Underclassman film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMarcos Siega
Produced byPeter Abrams
Robert L. Levy
Andrew Panay
Written byBrent Goldberg
David Wagner
StarringNick Cannon
Shawn Ashmore
Roselyn Sánchez
Kelly Hu
Hugh Bonneville
Cheech Marin
Music byBT
CinematographyDavid Hennings
Edited byNicholas C. Smith
Distributed byMiramax Films
Release date
September 2, 2005 (2005-09-02)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million[1]
Box office$5,655,459[2]

Underclassman is a 2005 action comedy film directed by Marcos Siega and starring Nick Cannon, Shawn Ashmore, Roselyn Sánchez, Kelly Hu, Hugh Bonneville, and Cheech Marin. It was released on September 2, 2005, had been originally set for a release in 2004.


Tracy (Tre) Stokes (Cannon) is a 23-year-old bike cop working for the Los Angeles Police Department. Tre dreams of being a police detective, like his late father, but his mentor Captain Delgado (Marin) believes he is not ready based on his reckless behavior. While playing basketball, Delgado is approached by a representative of the Mayor's office looking to place an undercover detective into the prestigious Westbury School after a student was killed at a party. Tre volunteers to go undercover, and Delgado reluctantly agrees to give him a chance.

Tre’s mark is Rob Donovan (Ashmore), whose name was written on a piece of paper at the scene of the crime. Attempting to befriend Rob on the basketball court after school, Tre learns about a local basketball tournament, the Blacktop Battle, which Rob is captaining for Westbury. Tre arrives at the Blacktop Battle where Westbury is being handily defeated by their crosstown rival. Joining the game, Tre wins the game and impresses Rob, but antagonizing his friends with his selfish play; the next day Tre learns of a party at the marina that Rob routinely throws, and shows up with a borrowed jetski for a race. When a former student and rival of Rob’s shows up at the party there is a fight and Tre and Rob are thrown in jail where they form a bond.

Tre soon discovers that at every high school party in the area a luxury car seems to be stolen. Tre plans a sting involving throwing his own party at Captain Delgado's home using the Captain’s prized '65 Corvette Stingray, Juanita, as bait. Tre sees Rob steal the car, but allows him to escape instead of stopping him, an act that results on him getting fired from the force. Continuing the investigation himself Tre discovers that the cars have been housed at a warehouse on campus and that Rob and his friends have been forced to steal the cars against their will. Headmaster Powers (Bonneville), realizing Tre is an undercover cop, enlists his co-conspirators to kidnap and murder Tre at the Blacktop Battle championship game. Tre is abducted and brought to the campus warehouse to be killed while Powers goes to the docks to trade the stolen vehicles for drugs. Tre, with the help of backup, escapes and interrupts Powers’ drug deal. Tre then kills Powers during a high speed boat chase in the harbor. In the end Tre graduates high school and is reinstated to the force.


Critical response[edit]

Underclassman received universal negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, only 6% of the critics gave it positive write-ups with the consensus: "Despite the appealing presence of Nick Cannon, Underclassman is a shopworn knockoff of both Beverly Hills Cop and 21 Jump Street."[3] On Metacritic the film has received 20 poor and 5 medium reviews for an overall score of 19.[4] Underclassman is currently the sixth worst reviewed film on Metacritic released in 2005.[5]

Box office[edit]

Underclassman was released on Labor Day weekend (September 2) in 2005, and performed poorly at the box office opening at number 11 with $3,393,610.[6] Overall Underclassman earned just $5,655,459 against a budget of $25 million in seven weeks of release.[1]


  1. ^ a b "The Numbers". The Numbers. 2018-06-03. Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  2. ^ Underclassman at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ "Underclassman (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. 2010-07-08. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
  4. ^ "Underclassman (2004)". Metacritic. 2018-06-03. Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  5. ^ "Metacritic films of 2005". Metacritic. 2018-06-03. Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  6. ^ "Box Office Mojo September 2-8 2005". Box Office Mojo. 2018-06-03. Retrieved 2018-06-03.

External links[edit]