By Da’Mon Guy
Lottery Ticket is a slightly humorous movie that faintly teeters above mediocrity. The movie is highlighted by an all star African American cast. The film’s cast is comprised of Lil’ Bow Wow (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift), Brandon T. Jackson (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief), Loretta Devine (For Colored Girls), Naturi Naughton (Fame), Ice Cube (First Sunday). The movie features appearances by Charlie Murphy (Our Family Wedding), Mike Epps (Next Day Air), Keith David (Death at a Funeral), Terry Crews (The Expendables), T-Pain, and Bill Belamy (The Brothers).
A young man, Kevin Carson (Bow Wow), wins the Lotto and must survive the pressures and temptations of his urban neighbor for three days during the forth of July weekend until he can cash the ticket in.
Lottery Ticket is a movie that has a lot of duality with it. It‘s almost like two sides to a coin. Let’s examine the film as heads and tales. On one side (Heads), it’s a predictable, stereotypical film that supports the negative perception of African Americans. Then on the other side (Tails), it’s a somewhat humorous movie that entertains with a warm hearted good message.
Lottery Ticket tries to evoke nostalgia for old school neighborhood-centric comedies like Friday. The film echoes Friday from the opening scenes but it fails miserably as this just doesn’t have the same level of appeal as the Friday movies. Many of the scenes and characters are very reminiscent of those films as it pessimistically does not measure up. Nearly all of the relevant roles from Craig to Smokey to Deebo are included. Lottery Ticket fails in every way that the first Friday succeeded.
The duo of Bow Wow and Brandon Jackson cannot compare to the duos of Ice Cube and Chris Tucker or Ice Cube and Mike Epps. Bow Wow was mostly unimpressive in this movie. His range of acting is quickly becoming very limited as this role was indifferent than many of the roles that he has portrayed in most of his films to date. His depiction of Kevin Carson, was very typical and boring. He literally brought nothing to this role. He was barely funny and when he finally had a change of character, I didn’t care. Brandon T. Jackson was amusing as Benny. He had the best performance in the film. He easily out played everyone else in the film. The film is crammed with guest appearances by a number of top quality African American actors. Each of them making some slightly humorous cameo. In spite of the abundance of talent, the supporting cast as well as the comedic value of the movie was less than impressive. The film was way too predictable. Not allowing for anything special from any of the actors.
Lottery ticket is a billboard for creating/maintaining false perception about African Americans. The film is a showcase for stereotypical perceptions of inner city African Americans. The movie has a few fleeting moments of comedy but they are quickly forgotten as the film embraces every stereotype that you can name for a “hood movie.” This is a film that glorifies the misfortunes of those living in impoverished areas. It increases the deformation of lower and working class African Americans. The film hinders the positive perception of African Americans and at the same time it increases the already negative perceptions of African Americans.
In spite of all of the negativity within Lottery Ticket, it does have good intentions. The film utilizes a really light hearted approach to it and it has an extremely warm message embedded within it. The movie spoke volumes about true friendship, not allowing money to corrupt someone, giving back to the community, and the belief in one’s self.
Lottery Ticket is supposed to be funny. It’s contains some brief flashes of humor but not enough to substantiate the production of it. It does more harm to African Americans that in does to entertain. I liked some of it but not enough of it to endorse. After watching Friday, this just seems like a cheap rip off.