Combustible Celluloid
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With: Donald Faison, Mike Epps, Wood Harris, Omari Hardwick, Emilio Rivera, Darius McCrary, Cisco Reyes, Yasmin Deliz, Lobo Sebastian, Malik Barnhardt, Mos Def, Debbie Allen, Lauren London, Jo D. Jonz, Shawn Michael Howard
Written by: Blair Cobbs
Directed by: Benny Boom
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, drug content, some violence and brief sexuality
Running Time: 90
Date: 05/08/2009

Next Day Air (2009)

2 Stars (out of 4)

Partial Post

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Quentin Tarantino borrowed heavily from the Blaxploitation classics for his own films, and now here's a unique film that borrows from the Tarantinoverse (as well as Guy Ritchie and Joe Carnahan) to pay back Blaxploitaiton. Unfortunately, that's about where interest in Next Day Air begins and ends. It's an oddly lethargic production, heavy in foul language and gun-pointing, but slow-witted and uninspired. Worse, though the terrific Mos Def is heavily featured in the advertising, his screen time amounts to two scenes -- and all of it is in the trailer. The same goes for Donald Faison, whose deliveryman character is the catalyst for the plot, but takes a back seat to the action. Leo (Faison) drops a package of drugs at the wrong address. The failed bank robbers who receive it (Mike Epps and Wood Harris) decide to sell it. The kind-of-nice Puerto Ricans who are waiting for it (Cisco Reyes and hot girlfriend Yasmin Deliz) must explain to their impatient Mexican boss what happened. Everyone winds up in the same apartment, waving guns, and director Benny Boom (a hip-hop music video maker) stages the one and only action sequence in a series of unwatchable shakes and chops. There's just enough here to make you wish they had tried harder.

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