Image Entertainment // 2011 // 110 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // February 29th, 2012
He won the game. Now he must fight the battle.
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson has penned another starring vehicle for himself through the football drama All Things Fall Apart. Jackson previously scripted the forgettable Gun, another film in which he also starred. It's hard to decide which film is better/worse. Let's try to assess this one.
Deon Barnes (Jackson) is a college football phenom. He's expected to be an NFL star, too. However, just when it looks like he's won the game of his life, everything goes wrong when Barnes is diagnosed with cancer. Following treatment, Barnes reassesses his life: past, present and future. He realizes that he isn't the man he thought he was. He tries to make amends. He tries to right past wrongs. [Insert your own hackneyed remark here.]
The main problem with Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson's film career is that he is not a particularly gifted actor. With proper training, this shortcoming can be overcome to some extent, but one has to be willingly to put in the effort. Jackson has not. Another problem is that Jackson isn't a gifted writer. Both Gun and All Things Fall Apart are derivative, filled with clichés, predictable plotting, and uninspired dialogue.
The only remarkable thing to happen in All Things Fall Apart is Jackson's physical transformation from a hulking college football player (with laughable mountain of dreadlocks) to a skeletal cancer victim. It's pretty shocking, but it does nothing to compensate for the lousy script and acting.
Another failure of the film is that almost all the characters, including Deon, are pretty lousy people. A film nominally about redemption that lacks a sympathetic protagonist has major problems. Pre-cancer Deon spends time trying to pick-up girls, including stealing a girl from his brother. In turn, Deon's brother acts a jerk towards him, during his illness. Further, Deon's mother and her boyfriend are more concerned with him making it to the NFL than his health.
All Things Fall Apart co-stars Mario Van Peebles (New Jack City), who also directs, and Ray Liotta (Narc). They can act, but have little to work with in this film.
It's hard to understand why this film warranted a Blu-ray release. There are no special effects. The setting is mundane. There are few sound effects. The production has the look and feel of a made-for-television movie.
The only extra is a trailer for the film.
Go watch Brian's Song or Bang The Drum Slowly.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 110 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated R