by Judy Marker, MCJ Movie Critic
“Lottery Ticket” may not win an award, but it is still a welcome addition to the few and seemingly far-in-between urban comedies now dominated by Tyler Perry.
Director Erik White and screenwriter Abdul Williams combine in their movie-making debut to give us 99 minutes of entertainment. They have attracted a starring cast that seems to enjoy working together; so let us hope this will be the first of many efforts.
Kevin Carson (Bow Wow “Roll Bounce”) lives with his Grandmother (Loretta Devine “Death at a Funeral”) in an Atlanta project. A recent high school graduate, Kevin dreams of “making it big” in the real world that is far from his roots. He truly believes that if he can attend design school, his dreams will come true.
Kevin is working at a Foot Locker to try and earn the money needed to make his dream a reality. Having long considered the lottery a racket to keep poor people poor, he has never played it. That is until now.
He soon catches the lottery fever that has swept the neighborhood with a $370 million jackpot. Kevin simply cannot pass up this amount.
By now you probably have guessed the story. Yes, Kevin amazingly discovers that he has actually and unbelievingly picked the winning numbers.
The problem: it’s Friday night and he cannot cash-in the winning ticket until Tuesday because of the 4th of July holiday. Worse yet, there are no secrets in the projects.
Quickly everyone wants to become Kevin’s friend. His best friend Benny (Brandon T. Jackson “Tropic Thunder”) is ready to help but does Kevin need it? Will his longtime platonic relationship with girlfriend Stacie (Naturi Naughton “Fame”) improve and what will become of his mysterious relationship with the basement neighbor Mr. Washington (Ice Cube “Are We There Yet”)?
Totally unprepared for his instant success, Kevin takes us on a wild journey.
He wants to live up to others expectations and quickly winds up with a ‘juice’ loan from Sweet Tee (Keith David “Death at a Funeral”) the local mobster.
But Sweet Tee is not the only crook he has to worry about. Kevin has to also worry about Lorenzo (Gbenga Akinnagbe) who just got out of jail and wants Kevin’s winning lottery ticket. Will Kevin survive until Tuesday?
“Lottery Ticket” is not a film for children despite its “PG-13” rating. It is loaded with sexual content, mature language, some violence, drug references and underage drinking. Leave the kids at home.
Helped greatly by its veteran cast, “Lottery Ticket” receives my rating of “3-J’s/Worthy Effort!”
August 19, 2012 //
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