Get Rich or Die Tryin' (film)
|Get Rich or Die Tryin'|
|Directed by||Jim Sheridan|
|Written by||Terence Winter|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$46.4 million|
Get Rich or Die Tryin' is a 2005 American hip-hop biopic crime film starring 50 Cent. It is 50 Cent's first film as an actor. It was released on November 9, 2005, and was known as Locked and Loaded during production. Similar to the 2002 Eminem film 8 Mile, which it used as a template, the film is loosely based on 50 Cent's own life. It was directed by Jim Sheridan. The name of the film is shared with 50's 2003 debut album of the same name.
Marcus is shot nine times by an unknown assailant. As the unidentified shooter points the gun to Marcus' head and pulls the trigger, the film flashes back to his childhood.
Marcus is a quiet young boy who adores his loving mother, and the two live a relatively comfortable life on her drug-dealing income. She often has to leave him with his grandparents while she conducts business. She is murdered in an apparent drug deal gone wrong.
Forced to live with his grandparents full-time, they themselves also having children to look after, Marcus finds his life less appealing as his grandfather works long hours to support the large family. As he grows older, he rejects the idea of legal work and decides to deal drugs, buying new clothing and even a gun. Eventually he abandons high school to sell drugs for local kingpin Levar and his underling, Majestic, full-time. Majestic, however, plans to become a major drug lord himself, often conspiring with a rap artist he manages named Dangerous.
Years later, after Marcus reunites with his childhood sweetheart Charlene, one of his friends is shot and paralyzed at a local club by a Colombian named Raul; the gunman originally aimed for Marcus. In retaliation, Marcus attacks Raul but is unable to bring himself to kill Raul when he calls out to his father, reminding Marcus of his own search for his lost father.
When Raul refuses to identify Marcus as the shooter in a police line up, he is free to go; Raul threatens him in silence through the one way mirror. After an anonymous tip off, police raid his house and find a firearm and a supply of drugs, which did not belong to Marcus. Marcus is jailed, and during his time in prison, he befriends an inmate named Bama.
After encouragement from Bama, Marcus leaves the drug trade behind to pursue and eventually fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a rapper, calling himself Young Caesar after Julius Caesar. Bama joins as his manager and producer. Bama gets out of jail before Marcus but promises he will see him again.
When Marcus leaves jail, Bama, Justice, Majestic, and June Bug are waiting for him. Majestic invites Marcus to become his right-hand man (taking June Bug's place), but Marcus tells him of his aspirations to become a rapper, which Majestic laughs off. Marcus leaves with Bama, taking Justice with him.
Justice and Bama initially have a clash of personalities, but Marcus calms them after a roadside stop. Unconvinced of Marcus' dream, Justice informs Majestic of his activities. As Marcus more seriously pursues music, Majestic tries everything in his power to sabotage his success, threatening record label employees, DJs, and more. Marcus refuses to stop and taunts Majestic and Dangerous in songs.
Despite Marcus' insistence at avoiding criminal activity, Bama convinces him to carry out one last robbery on a Columbian safe house. While this happens, Majestic targets Marcus for death. After Marcus and his crew complete the robbery, the film returns to the first scene. It is then revealed that Marcus is gunned down outside of his family's home by Justice. Marcus rethinks his life, prioritizing his young child. After a long and painful recovery, he records music again.
Angered with Justice's failure, Majestic brutally murders Justice. Shortly after, Marcus meets with Levar, who remorsefully reveals that he is Marcus' biological father and regrets not being there for him and his mother.
Marcus prepares to go on stage, donning a bulletproof vest. In the moments before the show, he gains the ire of Majestic, who reveals he murdered Marcus' mother years earlier. A fight ensues, and Marcus leaves as the victor. Majestic begs for Marcus to be the one to kill him, but Marcus is finally at peace with his inner demons. Marcus leaves Majestic in the hands of his cronies, and as he walks out towards the crowd, he stops as he hears a lone gunshot in the room behind him. There, Bama fires additional shots into Majestic's corpse.
As Marcus steps onto the stage to perform for the waiting crowd, he removes his bulletproof vest.
- Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson as Marcus "Young Caesar" Greer
- Marc John Jefferies as Young Marcus Greer
- Terrence Howard as Bama
- Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Majestic
- Joy Bryant as Charlene
- Omar Benson Miller as Kyrl
- Tory Kittles as Justice
- Ashley Walters as Antoine
- Viola Davis as Grandma
- Sullivan Walker as Grandpa
- Serena Reeder as Katrina
- Bill Duke as Levar
- Mpho Koaho as Junebug
- Russell Hornsby as Odell
- Joseph Pierre as Uncle Deuce
- Ryan Allen as Uncle Roy
- Ben Walsh as 15 Euro
- Mykelti Williamson as Charlene's step-father (uncredited)
The soundtrack was released on November 8, 2005. In December 2005, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album platinum. The album has so far sold over 3 million copies worldwide.
Samuel L. Jackson publicly turned down an offer to co-star in the film, citing that he did not want to lend credence to what he believed was an inexperienced and unproven actor. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote of Jackson's decision: "...Jackson is arguing against the anti-intellectual message that success for young black males is better sought in the worlds of rap and sports than in the classroom". Jackson and 50 Cent later co-starred in the 2006 film Home of the Brave.
Get Rich or Die Tryin holds a 16% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes based upon 117 reviews. Radio Times criticized the film, saying that "as a vehicle for hip-hop superstar Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, this [film] runs out of gas a fair few kilometres short", giving it a "could be worse" rating of 2/5 stars. CinePassion stated that "[Jim] Sheridan's surface vividness is applied around a vacuum."
FilmFocus said that the film's "real danger is that it sets a precedent for the director; if the price is right he's on board." The BBC was not entirely impressed with the film, saying that "while it boasts a first-class director and is loosely based on the singer's own life-story, the results leave you feeling a little short-changed."
Jonathan Ross gave a positive review, calling Get Rich or Die Tryin' "gripping" and suggesting that it had "excellent performances". Roger Ebert also praised the film, giving the film a 3 out of 4 rating and saying that it was "a film with a rich and convincing texture, a drama with power and anger".
Get Rich or Die Tryin' grossed $12,020,807 in its opening weekend. Altogether, the film grossed $46,442,528 in total worldwide.
- "Get Rich or Die Tryin'". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
- Get Rich or Die Tryin' film review - Radio Times
- RIAA Searchable Database - "Get Rich or Die Tryin". Recording Industry Association of America. Accessed May 21, 1932.
- "FemaleFirst". PROUD JACKSON TURNS DOWN 50 CENT FILM ROLE. Retrieved August 20, 2006.
- "RogerEbert.com". Coach Carter (PG-13). Retrieved August 20, 2006.
- Get Rich or Die Tryin' at Rotten Tomatoes
- CinePassion's review of Get Rich or Die Tryin'
- FilmFocus.co.uk Archived September 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
- BBC - Movies - Review - Get Rich Or Die Tryin'
- Film 2006 (Talk show). BBC. 2006.
- Roger Ebert's review of Get Rich or Die Tryin'