Get Rich Or Die Tryin' - Review
Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Portrait Of An Artist The Making Of Get Rich Or Die Tryin; Theatrical Trailer.
US RAPPER 50 Cent – aka Curtis Jackson – attempts to follow in the footsteps of Eminem by appearing in his own movie – yet while the credentials look good, the finished product may leave you feeling a little short-changed.
Get Rich or Die Tryin’ is a loosely biographical tale inspired by 50’s own upbringing but it too often feels like a carbon copy of countless other movies.
The most disappointing aspect of its failure to ignite, however, is the fact that it’s directed by Jim Sheridan, whose finest work includes In The Name Of The Father and In America.
Curtis (or 50 Cent) stars as Marcus, an aspiring rap artist who is forced to survive by dealing drugs and dodging bullets on the tough streets he calls home.
The film begins with a botched robbery and Marcus being shot by a rival before re-telling his life story, from the events leading up to the murder of his mother while he was still a young boy.
Embittered but determined to survive, Marcus rises up through the ranks careful to avoid the gangster politics that involve double-cross and murder and keen to provide an alternative life for himself as a rapper.
But a stint in prison is when he truly begins to find his way in music and meets a fellow gangsta (Terrence Howard) who agrees to become his bodyguard and manager.
The ensuing film plays out like countless other films, referencing everything from New Jack City to The Hurricane and even the more recent Hustle & Flow (which also starred Howard).
Yet given its basis in reality, it fails to be as startling or as absorbing as it really ought to be, hampered by a strangely flat performance from Jackson himself.
There are several occasions when characters lament the lack of emotion shown by Marcus that left me pondering whether this was to compensate for his shortcomings as an actor.
Yet given the episodic nature of proceedings, perhaps this is because the film is attempting to squeeze too much in as well.
On the plus side, there are some nice directorial touches from Sheridan (including an opening scene shot through the wing-mirror of a car), while support players such as Howard bring in some much-needed charisma.
But all too often this feels like a vehicle for Jackson to indulge his own fantasies, while also providing his 50 Cent alter-ego with another hook on which to sell his own records (the soundtrack is loaded with his music).
That’s not to say that Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ is bad, merely disappointingly routine given some of the talent involved. Sadly, it is 50 Cent himself who has to carry most of the rap for this.
Running time: 1hr 55mins