Every waking day should be met with optimism and hope, or so we conditioned to believe. Ex-Con Vincent (Common), fresh out of prison, is looking to ditch his old ways of hustling and murdering for a legit path, operating a crab business on the shores of Baltimore. Vincent’s nephew, Woody idolizes his Uncle’s sharpness, from his tailored suits to the slickness of his car, all the way down to his business demeanor.
Woody, played by 11 year Michael Rainey, Jr. rides shotgun through a day of handling business and unexpected trouble with his uncle Vincent. The day looks promising for Vincent as he attempts to close a deal on a loan to start the crab business. When things don’t go as planned, Vincent returns to his hustling instincts to get what he needs. His hood homecoming is met with unexpected suspicions as the questions of Vincent’s early release from prison begins to arise.
Vincent’s boss and mentor, played by Dennis Haysbert, throws a wrench into Vincent’s plans for an easy score on the street by challenging his loyalty to the game. Before you begin to consider this another “hood film,” it’s actually a bit deeper than that.
The influential and male dominating posture of Vincent begins to corrupt Woody’s vulnerable and eager spirit. In a Q & A panel after the movie, it was discussed that there are many Woody’s at risk in this country because of the lack of attention they receive, who will follow anyone offering them that attention, whether positive or negative.
Vincent’s reintroduction to the streets is not a welcoming one as his old stomping yards have changed, and his stature isn’t what it once was. Those realities set in immediately as he is challenged with undertaking tasks designated for low level henchmen.
Luv’s dark undertones from Director and Co-Writer, ,Sheldon Candis lay out social issues we should all pay attention to. How can an ex-con like Vincent escape the only world he knows if opportunities aren’t available to move on to something more promising? Vincent survives a day in hell by the skin of his teeth, all the while doing irreparable damage to his nephew’s psychological and emotional capacity.
There are a few surprises that tie the film together, and you’ll notice some similarities to films like The Pursuit of Happyness and Road to Perdition. I think Common as a actor as stepped up from the likeable but tough to watch, Just Wright into this title role as Vincent but he still has room to grow.
The script is acceptable, but not strong by a long a shot. I found myself even with its flaws, and rawness enjoying the tough love (no pun) between Vincent and Woody, and the action and quick pace that carries through the second half of the film. Common struggled with the emotional dialogue, but was strong when he had to be tough, something you saw in his brief role in Street Kings.
Follow Us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/planetill
Become a citizen of Planet Ill. Join our Forums
Join Us on the Planet Ill Facebook Group for more discussion
Follow us on Networked Blogs