Setup – 2011

Directed by Mike Gunther
Starring 50 Cent, Ryan Phillippe, Bruce Willis, Jenna Dewan, Brett Granstaff, Randy Couture, Will Yun Lee, James Remar, Susie Abromeit
Written by Gunther and Mike Berman

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson seems like a nice guy.  And with Setup, a movie he helped to produce, one can tell that he has every intention of creating something good.  Problem is, the movie is kind of slow and kind of dumb.  Just like Abduction, the movie acts like a vehicle for its star producer.  Just like that heap of trash, we see some major talent (Willis) and some minor talent (Phillipe, Couture and Remar) and a whole lotta nothin’ (everyone else).

Its the story of a thug with a heart of gold who gets double crossed in a job by his long time hood partner.  During which, he loses a friend and takes a bullet.  He spends the rest of his time moving along as other characters happen into and out of the picture, with announcements on top of freeze frames, like “The Hit Man,” “The Heavy” or “The Mob Boss.”  Each of these figures, aside from Willis, add little to the overall entertainment value.

There are some fun lines given entirely by Willis and almost certainly ad libbed.  He makes up for the fun parts by inexplicably and illogically talking up the film’s “star” with an insincerity that is almost charming.  Phillippe looks like he must be surprised to find himself on something going straight to video.  He plays a bad guy, I imagine like he lives…with snidely and petulantly.

What can I say about 50 Cent?  He paid for the movie he wanted.  I have long been a fan of rappers turned actors…LLCoolJ, Ice T, Mark Wahlberg, Mos Def, DMX, Queen Latifah, Ice Cube and Will Smith.  He’s one of the very few with no discernible talent for the acting.  Fortunately for him, the director and his screenwriter are worse.

Avoid, unless you want to see the 2 good Bruce Willis lines.


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