My ass was sweaty
Eyelids were heavy
This movie is something we’ve seen already…
Snap back to reality
Eminem shouldn’t be
In one more movie
For this will never see
Higher than a D…
I thought it would be appropriate to start the review of ‘8 Mile’ as such. In films such as “8 Mile” they simply reuse exhausted material.
At first I thought this was going to be another movie about overcoming the ominous color line, which is an exhausted topic in itself, but no. This movie just portrays the underworld of rap as those sitting around, picking fights, pulling guns, “dissin'” each other, worried about “slappin’ the bitches, pimpin’ the hoes, carryin’ bag with all their clothes … and one day being all bling bling and s**t.”
Scott Silver (“The Mod Squad”) wrote this film claiming it is not the Eminem story, because writing about a white rapper from Detroit transcending adversity is obviously not Eminem. But in actuality, this is an example of Hollywood trying to capitalize on the fame of those in music with poor acting and a soundtrack they hope will pull in what the box-office fails to take. This happens often … remember “The Bodyguard” or the recent flops “Glitter” and “Crossroads?” Too bad people frequent such movies and Hollywood continues to think they are a good idea.
“8 Mile” starts with Eminem, know as ‘B Rabbit’ in the film, choking on stage and then he deals with that failed attempt through the rest of the film. He has a white trash mother who thinks her life will change if she can just win on Bingo night, a rapping posse known as ‘The Free World’ hassling him, a crummy job with a boss that will not stop looking over his shoulder and, of course, is having girl trouble. So how do you change it all around? That’s right, look for a chance to record a demo tape so you can go platinum and support the entourage that hangs around you.
It was ridiculously tedious, with people picking fights with trite and meaningless purpose. Kim Basinger does a fine job, actually the best job in the entire film, complete with a new accent. Mekhi Pfifer should stay in the ER, even though he does not do well there either, and there is one scene where they make Brittany Murphy look like a crack whore dancing in a ghetto style home. Mixed in with the mediocre acting is Eminem.
Eminem played a wide variety of emotions from angry to … well … angry … and several times he seemed pissed off. Everybody seems to betray him some how, except the slow-witted friend who shoots himself in the groin, so he is angry with everyone and finally accepts the challenge to do “Battle.” “Battle” is the ‘rap-off’ held in a club where they free-style against each other and then one is named the champion. This scene reminded me of “Rocky” without the boxing.
Sadly, this is the good part. Although tedious, the battle was impressive. I liked the atmosphere created by Curtis Hanson, the director. He made a fine piece of film although he should stick to films like “L.A. Confidential” and “Wonder Boys.” The final bit by Eminem shows the creativity and intelligence Eminem possesses, but he got trapped in a bad script, which even Hanson could not improve upon with his good directing. It is all simply an exhausted topic of those overcoming their impoverished place in life. So like my rewrite said at the beginning, this does not move higher than a D.