Get Rich Or Die Tryin' (15)

Film

Drama

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Time Out says

Mon Jan 16 2006

A strange project, on paper: America’s equally villified and sanctified rapper du jour, 50 Cent, lends his inspirational life-story (as he must see it) and ropey acting skills to Jim Sheridan, the Irish director of ‘My Left Foot’ and ‘In the Name of the Father’. But it’s not such an odd marriage as it sounds when you consider that Sheridan’s last, reach-for-the-tissues effort was ‘In America’, a semi-autobiographical weepie about hard knocks, bereavement and self-improvement in early ’80s New York.

Here, 50 Cent plays Marcus – aka Young Caesar – a fictional version of himself in the rocky years leading up to his first gig. It’s this event which marks the end of the movie and, 50 Cent must hope, the beginning of the rush to buy the new album and video-game of the same name. Die tryin’? Laughin’ all the way to the bank, more like.

This is a predictable affair in which a boy from the wrong side of the elevated tracks (his mother is a murdered prostitute, his father unknown, his foster family unwelcoming) embraces street life from an early age (‘I’m a gangsta, grandpa, and I’m proud of it’) by selling crack and making his way snappily up the local criminal hierachy. Sheridan and screenwriter Terence Winter (‘The Sopranos’) present a local drugs war as a hackneyed mafia-type affair.

It’s no surprise when redemption arrives for Marcus via music and a good woman. Throughout, characters awkwardily speechify left, right and centre – there are so many signposts in the script that the Highways Agency could learn a thing or two from it. And as biographies go, it has all the credibility of the ghost-written memoirs of a footballer’s wife.
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