Lottery Ticket (Review)

Well-intentioned message movie doesn't quite come together

Bow Wow top-lines this urban comedy about a savvy project kid who must survive a weekend with everybody and their mother chasing him for a piece of his $350 million lottery ticket.

Kevin (Bow Wow) rolls through his hood with his best friend Benny (Brandon T. Jackson), a big-time dreamer and small-time hustler and his best girl Stacie (Naturi Naughton), a college-bound around the way girl who everyone but Kevin can see is ready to be much more than his friend. Along the way Kevin encounters all of the project staples: the old-school gangsta (Keith David), the information man (Charles Murphy), the just-released con (Gnenga Akinnagbe) and the scheming reverend (Mike Epps).

Everybody stays right in the pocket with the characterizations, which makes the peeps feel real. These projects are a throwback to the old days when a sense of community was still alive and the dream of doing something good was more than a pipe dream.

This ticket is a message movie with its heart in the right place, but it suffers a bit from attention deficit disorder in that its individual scenes and tones (action, comedy, romance, etc.) don’t come together to present a cohesive whole. Not a classic like Friday or Uptown Saturday Night, but its a relatively safe bet for a good time. Grade: C

Opens Aug. 20. Check out theaters and show times, see the trailer and get theater details here.
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