This week, our resident movie reviewer, Jeremy Morrison, is back with a fresh review of one of Olive Films most exciting new releases, “Gang Related,” starring James Belushi, Tupac Shakur, Lela Rochon, Dennis Quaid, James Earl Jones and David Paymer.
First, a quick synopsis: In his final film appearance, rap icon Tupac Shakur (Poetic Justice) is paired with James Belushi (Red Heat) in the gritty crime drama Gang Related. Corrupt detectives Rodriguez and Divinci (Shakur and Belushi), having framed an innocent man (Dennis Quaid, Undercover Blues) for the murder of an undercover DEA agent, will find their lives unravelling when their activities come under the scrutiny of DEA investigator Richard Simms (Gary Cole, In the Line of Fire). Written and directed by Jim Kouf (Disorganized Crime), Gang Related features supporting performances by James Earl Jones (Star Wars), Lela Rochon (Waiting to Exhale) and David Paymer (Mr. Saturday Night).
REVIEW: I’ve had a pretty great run of luck when it comes to the Olive Films that are sent to me for review. I figured my luck would run out sooner or later and unfortunately this month’s Gang Related finds itself with its finger on the trigger. Pun totally intended.
Listen, I’ll say this for the film, it should have been amazing. My opinion is that the script is fantastic. The direction was there. The focus puller had a helluva shoot. But the film falls victim to its lead actors. Which is upsetting because the film is loaded with great talent. Absolutely every person in this cast was fun to watch and near the top of their game, but Belushi and Shakur drop the ball on this one for me. Maybe it was their chemistry, maybe they were just out of their element of light hearted television comedies and gangsta rap with a heart of gold, but I found myself pretty bored with their performances.
The Verdict: I really wanted to love Gang Related, but unfortunately it wasn’t for me. That isn’t to say it isn’t for you. Give it a chance and let me know.
Jeremy Morrison – Staff Writer
Co-creator/host of the Acid Pop Cult Podcast, film reviewer, screenwriter, Jeremy has more than eight years experience in television and film production. His childhood fascination with the naked breasts featured in the “Friday the 13th” franchise prepared him for absolutely nothing in life. J-Mo lives by one motto: #wecantallbezacksnyder