'Get Rich or Die Tryin''
Biopic of rapper 50 Cent is a few cents short
Thus, we have "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," an even less thinly disguised biopic than "8 Mile," with Jackson playing a thug called Marcus but essentially re-creating his own life for the camera. The director, Jim Sheridan, might seem like an odd choice -- he's better known for his work with Irish stories like "My Left Foot," "In the Name of the Father" and "In America" -- but he does bring an outsider's eye to the story, and he's not someone who's likely to play sycophant to the star.
It's unfortunate, then, that all of Sheridan's considerable talent has to be wasted on trying to get something approximating a performance out of his star. He might have the thug-life glower down, but Fiddy is entirely out of his depth when trying to replicate actual emotions ... and every time he's on the screen with heavy hitters like Bill Duke, Joy Bryant or "Lost's" Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, it's like there's a huge hole in the middle of the frame.
And as far as street authenticity goes, "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" doesn't have anything that wasn't deployed to much greater effect in Craig Brewer's "Hustle & Flow" ... and thanks to the unfortunate casting of Terrence Howard as Marcus' brooding mentor, we're never allowed to forget it.
Paramount's enhanced-widescreen DVD boasts one single extra, the half-hour production featurette "A Portrait of an Artist: The Making of Get Rich or Die Tryin'," which opens and closes with Jackson performing on stage in Dublin, of all places, and thus features enough concert and studio material to make it worth a look for the artist's fans ... although it's awfully hard to shake the feeling that the "artist" referenced in the title is Sheridan, not Fiddy.
STUDIO: Paramount Home Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: March 28, 2006
TIME: 116 minutes
DVD EXTRAS: French audio dub; English and Spanish subtitles; production featurette.
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