Movie Review by Neils Hesse
Starring: Tyrese Gibson, Meagan Good, Larenz Tate, The Game, Darris Love
Director: Vondie Curtis Hall
Most African American powered films in this day and age of ours seem to fall into two categories. Category one will normally portray the characters as very well to do, in fact almost Yuppie types with seemingly blissful existences other than the usual man and woman lovey-dovey issues that couples tend to go through. Then there are the basic-life-in-the-ghetto stories that in equal terms glorify and denounce gangster lifestyles. So if that’s all why bother with this one hey?
Because there is an inventive spin on the basic gangster trying to make good tale in this particular urban journey. It’s a heady mix of man meets woman under intense conditions. Man and woman fall for each other. Same man is a gangster given his last chance to go straight, and his last chance forces him to get quite literally waist deep in the same underworld that he swore to never return to. The spin here is that for once the gangster making good is genuinely doing it selflessly, not for a woman he’s just met, but for his son who gets kidnapped by an ex-partner of his. Disgusted and angered by the life he has been forced to lead he wishes not only for his son to live but to live a better life than he did.
Good story, decent performances but there’s a nagging feeling that something is missing from this movie, with all the emphasis on the drive that the main character has to be reunited with his son. A little more background on the father/son relationship would have helped to accentuate the empathy for the father considering the route that he chooses to take to free his child.
Infamous gangster rapper The Game makes his debut here in a passable performance as a ruthless gangster, while leading man Tyrese Gibson shows some good action and emotional muscle alongside the impossibly curvaceous Meagan Good.