Eminem, Kim Basinger
don't need us to tell you this is Eminem's theatrical debut, you
know that already. You don't need us to tell you that if you love
Eminem, you'll probably like this movie. You already knew that too.
You also shouldn't need us to tell you that if you hate Eminem,
you don't want see this. He's in it, you see.
with those qualifiers aside, we'll proceed as if the skinny rapping
white guy was just a normal actor and we have no idea what he does
for a living outside of his performance in this movie. A performance
which, by the way, was actually pretty good. For a world famous
hip-hop artist in his first ever feature film, that is. Get it?
plays B. Rabbit, a young and hard-done-by Detroit steel press worker
who dreams of making it in the big time world of hip-hop. To slow
him down, fate throws him some curve balls in several shapes and
sizes. His trailer park mom (Basinger) is shacked up with a loser,
and Rabbit fears for his baby sister (the only character in the
movie that really gets an emotional reaction from him). His friend
wants to hook him up to record a demo, but Rabbit's crew doesn't
trust the guy. His girl friend lies to him. He has a bout of stage
fright. Will it return? He's white, as the other rappers like to
remind him. Had enough? We'll stop there, but the hits keep coming.
The question is, can Rabbit hit back?
doesn't smile a lot. Director Curtis Hanson has created a section
of Detroit that is grimy, dark, dismal, and screams "Dead End".
A gray blanket of desperation is suffocating these people, and Rabbit
knows that if he doesn't break out, he's going to be smothered by
it too. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime... The tension
and gravity of the situation is well developed, and you feel it
through the whole movie.
the overall pace of the movie is a bit slow, the actual rap battles
held in "Shelter" convey an intensity and immediacy that you can't
help but get caught up in. I'm not a big fan of Hip-Hop, but this
guy playing Rabbit seems to be able to sling some pretty clever
and catchy rhymes. He might even have a potential career there.
I was impressed, and really enjoyed not only the big rap battles,
but also the casual ones that appear to be part of their everyday
lives. Britney Murphy is a nice bonus here, playing a love-interest
and maybe a muse of sorts. Either way, she has a black bra and we
get to see it.
movie does a good job of bringing you into Rabbit's world for 118
minutes. The clubs are packed and hyped, the tensions are high,
the stakes are higher, and the rewards aren't riches, but survival.
It's a fable you've heard before, painted up nicely in the world
of Hip-Hop and executed with style. Eminem delivers a good solid
performance, and obviously shines in his scenes on the mic. You
leave the theater kind of nodding your head and saying "Not bad!"
in a pleasantly surprised tone. That's worth three stars. And I
do believe we'll be seeing more of him on the silver screen.
few guns, some play, and one really bad shot.
bit of blood, from the really bad shot.
Blood & Gore
really short chase.
Murphy gives a glimpse of the goods.
of the chuckles are found in the rhymes.