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Kevin Carson (Bow Wow) has just won $370 million in the Mondo Millions Lottery. But the Lottery Claim Office is closed for a long holiday weekend, so before he can collect, Kevin must figure out how to keep a lid on his good fortune and survive the next three days. As his prize news spreads, Kevin quickly discovers the good, the bad and the ugly in his friends and neighbors. It’s funny what people will do when money is involved — and this free-wheeling comedy has your winning entertainment numbers. Brandon T. Jackson, Naturi Naughton, Loretta Devine, Ice Cube, Keith David, Terry Crews, Mike Epps and more make for one all-star jackpot.
“Lottery Ticket” starring Bow Wow was never something I wanted to go see. It looked clichéd, and very predictable. The characters may have been pulled from other movies and were stereotypical to be sure. The cast was maybe the one bright spot for me with an ensemble that boasted veteran comedians, and actors alike along with up and comers. But it wasn’t enough to get me to the theatre. Well I’m glad I didn’t waste the money.
Now don’t get me wrong, the film has some genuinely funny parts in it, but they aren’t strung together well. More like scenes where an actor gets to do their thing and then it’s back to the story. If you don’t know the story, then here it is in a nutshell: Kevin Carson (Bow Wow) has just hit the lottery, but it’s the 4th of July weekend so he has to wait until the lottery office opens to claim his prize, and as we all know, good news travels fast. It isn’t long before the neighborhood wants to be his best friend, or some heavies want to muscle him out of the money. Hilarity, as they say, ensues.
Or I guess it was supposed to. It’s a cute little movie, and even has a message or two (Greed is bad, and money changes people,) but a lot of the situations we’ve seen before and this is like the juvenile version. There are some decent and funny performances from Brandon T. Jackson (“Tropic Thunder,” “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief”) who I’m really liking every time I see him and it was good to see Bill Bellamy again (“Def Jam’s How to be a Player”). Ice Cube did okay, as did Terry Crews. The always dependable Mike Epps got a few laughs, Keith David seemingly reprises his role as a gangster/loan shark (he plays a lot of them), and Loretta Devine always rocks the motherly role. Charlie Murphy always makes me smile, but even with all the decent and good, the lackluster and clichéd storyline kind of killed it for me. I mean I felt like I was watching a mashup of “Friday,” “Barbershop,” and “Money Talks.” I was constantly calling the next scene and was like “Hey didn’t they do that in…” I’m all for using some old tricks but man.
All that said the Blu-ray has some interesting and fun extras, including a look behind the scenes at the set they used as a community hangout, a look at the casting process and ensemble and a look into the life of Bill Bellamy, du-rag model. No I’m serious. But it’s actually funny. The picture is crisp (man I love Blu Rays) and the sound is good, but seeing as this isn’t full of flash and pop there’s not much to look at.
The movie wasn’t horrible. I mean I wasn’t mad and I didn’t want my time back, but it wasn’t “Friday,” or even “Friday After Next.” You won’t be quoting lines, or remembering hilarious scenes unless someone just recently saw it and is talking to you about it. It was just underwhelming. It had its heart in the right place but got bogged down by not doing something fresh. If you’re going to use old tricks, and ideas, you have to come up with some new ones too.