WARNING: This Article May Contain Spoilers
Born Curtis Jackson III, 50 Cent rose to prominence as a rapper in 2003 with the release of his first album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (that’s not the only time you’ll that name) – which was produced by Eminem and Dr Dre. Two years later, his acting career began with, you guessed it, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ where he played the lead role. Possibly the most interesting fact about this is guy is that in 2000, he was shot 9 times – yes you heard that right, NINE TIMES – and survived. Part of the outcome of this unfortunate incident is the distinctive slur he has in his voice.
It’s sad to say but I feel like this film is trying a little too hard be a cool version of Payback (obviously, this isn’t me saying Payback isn’t cool already – it’s a great film) and failing miserably. Truthfully, it is a hard film to judge Jackson’s acting off of, as the character of Sonny seems to fit into the 50 Cent persona. I have to admit, if it wasn’t for the voice over at the beginning, the first 20 minutes would make you think that Fiddy is actually an ancillary character in the film. It’s a shame to say that some of the best parts of the film, don’t include 50 Cent at all.
This is possibly one of the darkest films, outside of a horror film, that I think I have ever seen. However, there are pros and cons to 50 Cent’s role in it. Con – I honestly don’t get why he’s in it. His character’s interaction with Mickey Rourke’s doesn’t exactly add anything to 17’s story (yeah, no one really has character names) and it’s not made clear if he was really a gambler or just there to kill 17 if he didn’t die in the game. Pro – for once this isn’t the typical gangster role that I’m used to 50 playing but that doesn’t exactly mean much when you look at it when I spent the film wondering why the guy was given a bigger than maybe was needed.
I really am struggling to say anything positive about the roles I’m seeing Curtis Jackson play. The character of Taylor is, I don’t want to say two dimensional because that’s a little bit harsh but it’s definitely a case of ‘been there, seen that before’. I also don’t think it’s helped by the fact that my attention is more drawn towards Angel (played by Val Kilmer) than Taylor because you genuinely start to think ‘who is this guy?’ with every scene of his that passes. Also, and this is a massive bug bear of mine anyway, I cannot stand out of context sex scenes – and that’s exactly what we get between Taylor and Gabriella. You know, I don’t need to see 50 Cent’s bare bottom at the best of times, let alone when it has no relevance to the film.
As I’ve already said the first film 50 Cent starred in was a personal project based on his own life (inspired by Eminem’s 8 Mile) but I wonder if he ever imagined he would share the screen with greats like Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in Righteous Kill or Sly Stallone in the Escape Plan trilogywhen he got started. He has also starred as himself in a few films including Morning Glory and Spy.