Thursday, August 19, 2010


The premise of Lottery Ticket is the stuff of dreams. Boy has mundane life and job. Boy buys Lottery Ticket. Boy wins Lottery. Boy realizes it's July 4th Weekend and can't cash his Ticket until the next business day. Boy gets hounded by friends and neighbours for their share of the Jackpot. Boy gets approached by Mafia for protection. Boy must fend off Bully for money. Boy falls in love along the way with girl-next-door. Boy's Lottery Ticket is stolen by Bully. Boy gets help from unexpectedly from a man who hasn't seen the light of day in 20 years. Wait a minute, I never dreamed-up this crap!

Let's be real here, this plot completely is absurd and although it is loaded with clichés (see previous paragraph), Director Erik White manages to pull the wool over our eyes and before we know it, we're hoping for dear life that this Lottery Ticket in question gets cashed by its rightful owner Brian (Rapper/Actor Bow Wow), not towering arch-nemesis Lorenzo (Gbenga Akinnagbe) in this David vs. Goliath-esque battle. And isn't this why we go to the movies? To be taken on a bit of a ride?  To root for a Hero?

Bow Wow lights up the screen here and actually shows a lot of potential here as the Protagonist. The same goes for his sidekick Benny (Brandon T. Jackson), who garners a few good laughs as his impulsive yet-trustworthy best friend. In one crucial scene where he is forced to defend his loyalty to an increasingly distrustful Brian, he manages to steal the show with gusto. Naturi Naughton who we saw flashes of potential with in last year's horrific Fame remake, surfaces again as the girl-next-door-turned-love interest Stacie, and although she isn't given much to work with, she is likable enough still. Veteran actress Loretta Devine as Brian's Grandmother, is delightful as always in her endearing loopiness. And action star Terry Crews manages to steal a scene or two of his own as a goofy Mafia-hired Driver/Bodyguard. Rapper/actor Ice Cube, the film's Producer, even makes his presence felt as the mentioned Hermit of 20 years, Mr. Washington.

Warner Bros.' Lottery Ticket is unexpectedly fun. The little buzz it has received might actually work in its favour. The comedy is in wide release August 20, 2010. Grade: B-

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