Make 'em say UNNNNHHHHHHH.....Yup, Master P is on top of the world right now. He's got a multi-million-dollar business (No Limit) that he started from scratch, he's kickin' it with the rich and famous, and he's got the big names in rap knockin' at his door wanting his production skills, or in the case of Snoop Doggy Dogg, a record deal. And the New Orleans-based No Limit enterprise is branching out beyond rap ... into real estate, phone sex, TV, movies, and so on. (I'm waiting for the No Limit internet service.)
Master P's forays into the film world aren't high-class art; for the most part they're micro-budget, hastily written and put together in a couple months' time and released straight to video. His first film effort, I'm Bout It, was a breakout hit at the video stores and caught the attention of the major studio execs, one of which offered to distribute his next film, I Got The Hook-Up, to theatres. Just like dat, P's a movie star.
In I Got The Hook-Up, P stars as "Black", a ghetto hustler that runs a basic used-junk operation at the local flea market. A.J. Johnson is his business partner, "Blue". Black is always out to make money by any means necessary, and when a confused delivery man enters the hood with a big box full of cellular phones, Black takes full advantage of the opportunity. Yes, he says to the delivery man, he is the intended recipient of the package. And with a little help from friends in the right places (an around-the-way girl working at a cellular phone service), he and Blue are out to make big bank from the box of goods.
Trouble is, the phones don't work that well, and when a local gangbanger turns into an irate customer, Black and Blue got hell to pay. And their troubles don't stop there... the cellular exec found them out, the Feds are closing in, and a bunch of dissatisfied customers add more to the big pile of deep shit they gotta get out of.
Those who ain't expecting Citizen Kane from a ghetto movie will find I Got The Hook-Up a decent effort in farcical humor. The jokes are low-brow and spotty, but the good ones are worth sitting through the bad ones. Master P's acting skills don't really match his rapping skills. A.J. Johnson, on the other hand, has got potential to make it big as a comedy superstar. His manic face and crazed demeanor pretty much carries the film. Also making guest appearances are Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and No Limit soldiers C-Murder, Mia X and Silkk the Shocker.All in all, I Got The Hook-Up ain't nothin' to call home about, but it ain't no dead ringer, either.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=425&reviewer=9
originally posted: 08/19/98 01:28:05