What would you do if you won the lottery tomorrow? This is the question that opens the highly amusing if predictable new hijinx-in-the-hood genre comedy, "Lottery Ticket," starring the rapper/actor, Bowwow.

It turns out not to be the film’s central question, however, which is more like: What would you do if your desperate ‘hood suddenly know you’d won the lottery but hadn’t cashed your ticket yet? It’s a question worth asking in a community raised on the rags-to-riches tales of rappers and ‘ballers, pushers and pimps, the escort and the entourage. The answer of course is: a lot of running and hiding, and a lot of deciding whom you trust.

Directed by: Erik White
Screenplay by: Abdul Williams
Story by: Erik White and Abdul Williams
Starring: Bow Wow, Brandon T. Jackson, Naturi Naughtan, Ice Cube
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: August 20

To a large extent, "Lottery Ticket" follows the formula of "Friday," the 1995 comedy that solidified Ice Cube as a movie star and spawned several sequels and imitations. Both "Friday" and Lottery Ticket" feature an affable, straight-laced hero who has to negotiate money problems and lady problems (he’s got to choose between the ghetto versions of "Madonna and whore") with the aid of a more mischievous, comic sidekick. Ultimately the solution for both heroes lies in a decision to "quit clowning" and stand up to the bully who menaces his streets even if it means sacrificing his body in hand-to-hand combat with a monstrous thug.

Director Eric White seems to wink at Friday’s influence both with visual references and the occasional offhand line. He even casts a graying Ice Cube in a key supporting role. Bowwow proves a formidable onscreen air. As tough-but-untested nice guy, Kevin Carson, he has genuine charisma. As his sidekick, Benny, Brandon T. Jackson is toned down several thousand notches from Friday’s Chris Tucker, but he’s affable and funny as a guy who plays at being a bad influence (but is plainly harmless). While the film is heavy on cameos from veterans of the genre, it’s these likable actors who really carry it along. They’re funny when they’re in trouble and they’re easy to root for.

"Lottery Ticket" is short on substance. It’s heavy on clich©s and it’s got a little bit of unwanted melodrama. But the gags are good, the dialogue is witty and the actors are funny. If you’re looking for something light, this one’s a winner.

About The Author

Jason Rabin is a Blast contributing editor

2 Responses

  1. Danielle

    I watched this movie a few weeks ago and I loved it. I really think Ice Cube captured the truth of having a family oriented movie. I watched it in HD and it was crystal clear. I work and subscribe to DISH Network services and my picture is perfectly clear. Some people want Ice Cube to stay that thugged out gangsta he use to be but he has grown and evolved into a father who wants his kids to be able to watch the movies that he’s in. Can anyone blame him? I loved the movie and I highly recommend that people watch it. It was definitely well worth it.



Leave a Reply