out of Five
Running time: 117
Surprisingly dull film, fatally hamstrung by a wooden performance from Jackson himself.
What's it all about?
Get Rich or Die Tryin' is to Curtis 50 Cent
Jackson what 8 Mile
was to Eminem – that is, a thinly-veiled fictional
account of his own rags-to-riches story.
Jackson plays Marcus, a drug dealer who rises through the ranks after his own drug-dealing mother (Serena Reeder) gets shot.
However, what Marcus really wants to do is become a gangsta rapper and he finally gets his chance after a hustler he meets in prison (Terrence Howard as Bama) offers to become his manager.
Director Jim Sheridan is an unusual choice for a film such as this, but it’s fair to say that without him it would have been nigh on unwatchable.
Other than the shower scrap scene, the supporting performances are the best thing on display here, notably the scene-stealing Terrence Howard, Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje and Britain’s own Ashley Walters.
Unfortunately, Jackson himself has to shoulder most of the blame – his performance is so emotionless and unengaging that it’ll put you to sleep.
Worse, he’s comprehensively out-acted by the kid playing his 12 year old self (Marc John Jeffries).
In addition, there’s hardly any music actually performed in the film, so we’re denied the chance to see any real evidence of Jackson’s talent.
In short, this is disappointingly dull throughout and Jackson’s real-life bullet wounds are the only thing in the film with any authenticity about them. If it’s a rap-related rags-to-riches flick you want, check out 8 Mile or Hustle & Flow, both of which are ten times better than this.
Get Rich Or Die Tryin' (15)