Rappers can sometimes do a great job in movies, but 50 Cent's attempt to follow their footsteps in Get Rich Or Die Trying, to put it mildly...totally sucks.

A shitty story, shitty acting, shitty rapping, shitty pacing, and shitty shit shittiness makes this one pretty shitty film.

50 plays himself, only he's called Marcus so they can embellish the truth. He's shot within the first 3 minutes of the film and then there's a flashback scene to his childhood. We're going to spend the next 90 minutes "learning how it all began", or as Fifty would say, "learfing fow fit fall fegan". Half of what he says through those piano key teeth of his is too hard to decipher. A scene where he's talking with his mouth wired shut (from one of his many gunshot wounds) is no more difficult to understand than the lines he delivers prior to that.

50 has about 3 different expressions in the film

1) Angry face with mouth shut
2) Angry face with mouth open
3) Goofy smiley face with big teeth sticking out

Every minute he's onscreen, 50 just seems empty inside.  He looks tough, for sure, but his character just comes off as a hollow shell of a man who's just reading his lines and going through the motions.

The story, if you can call it that, focuses on him being a crack dealer who goes to jail, hones his rap skills in prison, and wants to be a rap star when he gets out, but Adibese from OZ doesn't want him to do that. That takes about 2 hours that seem like 4 to tell, and in the last 5 minutes, a showdown ensues ending with 50 coming out and rapping. He's wearing a bullet proof vest, but because he's not afraid anymore, he takes it off. And because he wants to show you how ripped he is, he takes off his shirt, too, for good measure.

This was an odd press screening to attend. Normally the last few rows are taped off so the media can sit there, while the rest of the seats go to folks that win them from radio stations. Our local Hip Hop radio station 103.5 The Bomb was giving away tickets for this one. Usually there's a radio station van parked out front of the theater for further promotion, but in this case there were two cop cars. A sign of things to come. Because they were worried about the violence that had occurred at prior screenings endorsed by "The Bomb", there was actually one theater dedicated for the people that won tickets, and another for The Press. It was rather funny to see the 5 white film critics herded into a safe luxurious theater all to ourselves, so that our views of the film wouldn't be tarnished by urban riff raff. (EDIT- Maybe this wasn't a bad idea AFTER ALL).

Frankly, I might have enjoyed the film more seeing parents with babies too cheap to pay for babysitters, an ocean of blue cell phone lights, and random cries of "Oh no he di-in't" throughout the film.  Of course, I also might have enjoyed it even more if I just imagined the reanimated corpse of Gene Rayburn eating everyone's face off in the film, but I save that for times when I need to be in my safe place.

If you like 50 Cent's music, there's not enough of it here to enjoy, save a goofy montage at the end when he's layin' down his new tracks.

The story is all over the place and almost nonsensical. Ultimately, it's just a glorified vanity project to improve his street cred. I don't think there's too much danger of 50 being in any more big movies. But knowing how Hollywood works, he'll likely be in some absurdly titled Steven Segal movie before we know it.

And please, don't take this review as the misunderstood complaints of some sheltered white boy who just doesn't get it.  I grew up on the tough streets of San Lorenzo, California and spent several years as a member of the brutal Grant Avenue Hustlaz.  I have a black teardrop tattoo on my ankle and was so onery, I once shot a man just for snoring.  OK, I really never saw any gunplay outside of the Atari 2600 Outlaw game, but don't hold that against me.  There are good hip hop exploitation films...

...this is just not one of them.

I also find it misleading that by the film's end, Fifty neither gets rich, or dies trying.  Perhaps we'll just have to wait for the sequel GET RICHER TRY DYIN' HARDER.

-Robert Berry

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