'Get Rich or Die Tryin'
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.