MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Kevin Carson (Bow Wow) is a kid from the ghetto who buys a lottery ticket on a whim when the jackpot reaches $370 million. When he hits the jackpot, he tries to cash in the ticket but finds out he can’t until after the 4th of July holiday. Kevin tries to keep his winning a secret throughout the holiday, but when news leaks out, he finds himself the center of both good and bad attention.
WHAT I LIKED
When it comes to films like this, I may not particularly like them, but I can appreciate their good intentions. There is a lesson being given in this film, and the message is decent. This is a trite message we have seen many times before, but at least it’s nice to see a movie that isn’t too preachy or melodramatic.
The performances aren’t bad, and the cast is impressive. Bow Wow manages to play the everyman well, putting aside his rap star persona. There are some decent performances by Naturi Naughton (who needs more work in this business, in my opinion) as his would-be love interest, Brandon T. Jackson as his best friend, Ice Cube as the crotchety old dude on the block and Mike Epps as a greedy preacher.
Fellow critic Jen Yamato is quoted on the cover box of “Lottery Ticket,” saying, “It’s ‘Friday’ for a new generation,” and that’s actually how this movie plays. It’s not as entertaining as the original “Friday,” but it embodies that sort of spirit.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
While “Lottery Ticket” can be enjoyable as an ensemble piece from the hood, it has plenty of flaws. The biggest problem is that it has about 40 minutes of story and needs to be padded out to its 99-minute running time.
The movie also relies too much on racial stereotypes for its jokes. Sure, there’s plenty of funny things to joke about in ghetto movies, but this whole movie feels like a poorly delivered Chris Rock routine.
Finally, the biggest sticking point I had with this movie is how rock-stupid some of the characters are. Before they can cash the ticket, they borrow money from a gangster, which causes me to lose any sympathy for the characters, even in a humorous way. This isn’t Rooster from “Armageddon” borrowing from a loan shark because he thinks he’ll die in space. This is just dumb behavior for people who don’t even have disposable cash yet.
Then there’s the fact that the characters let the cat out of the bag about the ticket in the first place. Yeah, there wouldn’t be a movie without this plot point, but it could have been delivered a little more smoothly.
The DVD comes with a couple deleted scenes.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of the ghetto comedy.