Since it was announced that Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson had launched his own film company 2 or 3 years ago, Cheetah Vision, I've been casually watching to see what kind of work this new venture would yield. Throw in the10-picture, $200 million agreement his company has with George Furla's Hedge Fund Film Partners, and, well, we had to start paying closer attention to the man and his films sooner or later.
I do it so that you don't have to :)
But seriously, as I said in an earlier post, no matter what we might think of him or his films, we can't ignore what's happening here; well, I guess you guys could, but it's not quite the same for the site. You could always skip over posts about 50 Cent if you don't care.
As the title of this post says, I'll do my best to sort through Fiddy's oeuvre for those of you who are curious; emphasis on the words "breezing through."
The first title under the Cheetah Vision (CV) banner was something called Before I Self Destruct, which was included in his 2009 album release (didn't catch that).
This, I believe was the second CV feature project – the 2010 crime drama titled Caught In The Crossfire, which stars Chris Klein, Adam Rodriguez, and Fiddy himself (albeit in a smaller role than I expected, although pivotal) – a film I watched last night.
I'll skip the foreplay and get right to the grind. Expect these kinds of Twitterized reviews ;)
So, how was it? Well, not bad actually! Or maybe my low expectations were simply met. But really, there was actually enough suspense to keep me mostly engaged for a lot of the film, despite its flaws.
This same script in the hands of say, Michael Mann in the director's chair (I have Heat on my mind), and a higher caliber group of actors, would actually make for a worthwhile watch; it'll more than likely have made it to theaters, as opposed to being the straight-to-dvd release it currently is.
Alas, it isn't Michael Mann (nor Martin Scorsese a la The Departed) behind the camera; and instead of say, comparable young-uns, like Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, or even Christian Bale, we're given Klein, Rodriguez and Jackson – certainly not world-class dramatic thespians, but, each does his job earnestly here (maybe a little too much so), and I wasn't entirely distracted by their performance choices.
It's a crime drama, with police corruption at its center; nothing we haven't seen before, certainly, and this doesn't necessarily introduce us to any radical new ideas; but I don't think it's trying to.
The setup is pretty straightforward – cop gets killed in what looks like a manipulated bust; other cops vow to avenge his death, at any cost; however, several Q&A sessions, and further investigations later, uncover that the killing of the cop may have indeed been an inside job. Dun… dun… dun… duuuuun!
The unraveling of the truth is what takes up the majority of the film's running time. The answer in the end may surprise you; but if your brain works like mine while watching movies, there's a good chance that you'll figure it all out before it's over, or at least, it'll be on your short list of possibilities.
Is it a mind-blowing piece of work? Obviously not; but, as I said, it's not trying to be, and it's really not a bad flick. It actually does feel like there's a, uh, brain behind Caught In The Crossfire, for whatever that's worth.
It had potential, but in more experienced hands; but, In the end, I'd say my expectations were met; however I wouldn't be in a rush to see it again anytime soon.
Up next will be Gun, which he co-starred in with Val Kilmer; Jessy Terrero (Soul Plane directed it). When I see it, of course, I'll post another Twitterized review here.
Trailer for Caught In The Crossfire below: