'Get Rich or Die Tryin'

ImageAs Eminem's protege, 50 Cent got the entree to rap superstardom and all the automatic wealth, fame and cred that go along with it. But apparently he didn't get any acting lessons.

And so the film debut from 50 Cent (real name: Curtis Jackson) plays like a feeble retread of Eminem's film debut "8 Mile" -- not just because it's arriving in theaters only three years later and it's so similarly semi-fictional, which it is.

Mainly, "Get Rich" proves once again, as in "Glitter," that standing in front of a camera and portraying a thinly veiled version of yourself is harder than it sounds.

Eminem pulled it off -- even though "8 Mile" was essentially a rap version of "The Karate Kid" -- because he had an inescapable charisma, an intensity about him and an innate ability to connect with his audience in a way that was evident even from his earliest music videos.

50, though, has always had a much more low-key vibe, which on the big screen renders him nearly inert.

Terrence Howard and Joy Bryant co-star. R for strong violence, pervasive language, drug content, sexuality and nudity. 117 min. One and a half stars out of four.

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