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Get Rich Or Die Tryin' (2005) - Review Thread


Jul 20, 2005
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Title: Get Rich Or Die Tryin' (2005)
Directed By: Jim Sheridan
Written By: Terence Winter
Cast: Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Terence Howard, Joy Bryant, Bill Duke

Is 50 Cents Hollywood debut worth sitting through?

I was too young to really appreciate the original appearance of hip-hop music, artists and influence in mainstream media. Fortunately, I had an elder brother who’d bring home the flicks such as “Beat Street” and “Disorderlies”. Sure they weren’t landmark movies but I was young and easily entertained.

The 90’s saw a re-emergence of this sub-genre. This time most of them didn’t even get a theatrical release. The few that did never made much money and were universally panned by critics. This still didn’t stop me from wanting to watch these abominations just to see my favorite rap artist try to act. None of them made good actors but they did provide some (unintentional) laughs.

Since its miniscule start, hip-hop/rap has grown into one of the top-selling genres. Artists have gone from being mere songwriters to endorsing brands to even starting their own. Hollywood isn’t far behind in attempting to cash in on its growing popularity.

Followers of "Lost" will recognise this familiar face.
Movies such as “Honey” and “Save The Last Dance” have employed the musical genre in some (corny) aspect. Rap artists have been handed parts from minor characters to playing the lead. One can account for Will Smith being the first to make a successful transition, or even gangster rapper gone soft Ice Cube, but it truly wasn’t until Marshall Mathars a/k/a Eminem made his debut in the semi-autobiographical “8 Mile” that Hollywood had found a formula for translating a rappers movie appearance into big box-office dollars.

The formula is remarkably simply – cast a rapper with a large fan base, have a story loosely based on the said artists life, get a renowned director to ensure the acting is decent if not remarkable, hire known actors for supporting roles to make sure there’s some decent acting and have an excellent soundtrack so even if the movie tanks the money from CD sales would help the studio break even. (cont'd)
Terrence Howard from "Hustle & Flow" lends some much needed support.

That’s the same formula they try employing on Curtis Jackson a/k/a 50 Cent’s debut “Get Rich or Die Tryin’ ’’. Only thing is, they forgot one key element – hiring a good writer.

Go read a dozen reviews of this movie and one thing is glaringly similar, all of them hated Jackson’s acting. I don’t fault them for walking away having felt that way but I don’t think it’s fair to only critique his performance. It’s the terribly trite writing of Terence Winter which should be credited for this muddles mess. Not only does he write piss poor characters which rely on racial stereotypes but has no clue how to tell a good story.

50 Cent’s story about his rise to fame from near death could easily been pictured as a memorable tale about chasing the American dream ala “Scarface”. It has all the necessary ingredients – a death of a parent at the hands of the mob, a youngster lured into the underworld, the evil mob boss, rival gangs, shoot-outs, dirty cops and the protagonists rise to fame in a quest for revenge.

Sadly the story is told with a disjointed quality with director Jim Sheridan showing very little interest in telling it. The movie never hits its stride. With all movies you usually know the end its how you get there that keeps viewers glued to their seats. That’s what makes the third act so tedious to sit through.

Hip-hop listeners will know who the character of Dangerous is based on.

I did enjoy the movie but it was strictly from being a follower of the genre and knowing who the fictionalized characters are supposed to represent. Besides that there isn’t much to recommend. It’s yet another opportunity squandered.

Reviewed By: Sarhan "Tsar" Rashid
More Images

Probably the FIRST scene most of you will fast forward to.

Rick James makes a surprise appearance.

50's collection of 50 cents.

The ghetto version of facial reconstruction.

The first scene SOME of you will fast forward to.

Now why would you make this thread?
Years ago, you could get a whole snicker bar for 50 cents.

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