Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005)
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Review Date: December 05, 2005
Director: Jim Sheridan
Writer: Terence Winter
Producers: Paul Rosenberg, Jim Sheridan, Jimmy Iovine, Chris Lightly, Heather Perry
50 Cent as Marcus
Terrence Howard as Bama
Joy Bryant as Charlene
Based mostly on the real life adventures of rapper 50 Cent himself, this film looks at his upbringing as the son of a prostitute junkie who gets murdered, all the way through to his own drug-dealing days, his violent rampages, his stint in jail and his romance and love for a childhood sweetheart. Oh, and as for the film’s title…I don’t want to ruin the ending for you all, but…well, he gets RICH!!
Certainly not as terrible as I had heard it was, GET RICH is nothing more than a made-for-TV “gangsta” flick told via some extra violence, blood and tits, but without any emotional relation between anyone in the film and the audience, particularly its lead, 50 Cent, who can’t seem to convey any other emotion than “indifference” on the big screen. Actually, now that I think about it, the man pretty much looks that way in every single interview that he does as well. I’m sure there’s some shit going on in his head, but he doesn’t show it on his face, which in a film, and as the lead actor in said film…doesn’t really bode well for audience involvement. It doesn’t help that the unoriginal tale lasts for close to two hours and doesn’t really provide any insightful rap moments or sessions (he just seems to rap all along and eventually catches a break?). What is it about his rap that the kids seem to like? Not covered. What is it about his gangsta lifestyle that appeals to others? Not covered. What is about the man himself, 50 Cent aka Marcus, that appeals to the hottie that falls for him in the film? No idea. When they meet again as grown-ups, she asks him what he does for a living and he replies “I’m a gangsta rappa.” Apparently, this turns the lady on, despite her obvious, more sophisticated appeal and taste. Ironically enough, she seems to change her mind a few years later to which, as an audience member, you can’t help but think “Where the fuck did you see your life headed by hooking up with a ‘gangsta rapa gun-toting drug-dealer’ anyway?”

Weak acting and basic (and elongated) story aside, I enjoyed the film’s “look and feel”, and also dug its two “bad guys” (then again, pretty much everybody in this movie is a “bad guy”—yet another reason that it’s difficult to really get into any of the characters), played delectably by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and the always grim and terrifying Bill Duke. The film is also quite depressing, despite its somewhat “inspiring” conclusion. Unlike Eminem’s 8 MILE, there doesn’t seem to be any glimmer of joy in this man’s life. It’s one big downer, and even though I can appreciate that many people do have tough lives, again, it doesn’t bode well when you’re sitting in a dark theater for two hours, trying to be “entertained”. The music in the movie also wasn’t “all that”, which is strange since Double Quarter does have a few catchy ditties in real life. I suppose fans of Fiddy might enjoy it, if only to see some of his own real life portrayed by the man himself on the big screen, but as for the rest of us, the story doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, the acting is decent but forgetful across the board (save for 50, who ain’t “all that”), the romance isn’t powerful in the least, and ultimately, I wasn’t particularly entertained, enlightened or turned on by much in the film. Well, that’s not exactly true: the film does feature one of the coolest “naked guys trying to shank each other in a prison shower” scene ever recorded on film. Good shit. As for me, well, you can find me in the club, bottle full of bub, so come give me a hug, if you into gettin’ rubbed. Yeah beeyotch, that’s how I roll!
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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