1 1/2 StarsHip Hop artist Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson has an intense screen presence and underrated acting ability that is thoroughly wasted in this low-budget film also scripted by the star. Making his feature writing debut Jackson the screenwriter is far less talented than Jackson the actor. His script is derivative of other more notable films in the cop vs criminal genre namely ‘Heat’ and ‘The Departed’ with hints of urban crime dramas Belly and ‘Lord of War’ sprinkled heavily throughout. The presence of a mis-cast Val Kilmer (the third time co-staring with Jackson) is supposed to invoke comparison to Michael Mann’s classic 1995 film Heat, instead it leaves the viewer to marvel at the depths Kilmer’s career has reached and the oddity of pairing a long forgotten screen pretty boy/notorious pain in the ass alongside rap’s reining bad boy. This has to be the most peculiar casting since Seagal and DMX teamed up for Exit Wounds a decade ago.
The story revolves around Rich (50 Cent) an illegal arms dealer that is looking to move up in the world and out of the hood. Kilmer is Angel, a parolee trying to make some quick money with Rich and his crew. Turns out years back Angel took the rap for Rich and served ten years. Now Angel wants in on the money that is circulating amongst the crew. All this is juxtaposed with the struggles of a Task force officer (Remar) and his partner in hunting down an exotic gun used by Rich in a nightclub slaying.
A brief 81 minute running time covers all the familiar stops for a film of this ilk. Is someone on the inside working for the Cops? Will there be conflict between Angel and veteran members of Rich’s crew? Why does Angel keep calling his ex-wife’s voicemail without leaving a message? Will there be a gratuitous sex scene? This is a film for people who have never seen the better movies this one is ripping off. Only of interest for fans of Jackson’s or those looking for mindless stereotypes reinforced in a sub-par film.
Director: Jessy Terrero
Stars: Curtis Jackson, Val Kilmer, James Remar