Carlito's Way: Rise To Power

Carlito's Way: Rise To Power


Reviewed by: Keith Dudhnath

Carlito Brigante (Jay Hernandez) is a small-time drug dealer, carving out a niche for himself with his two friends Earl (Mario Van Peebles) and Rocco (Michael Kelly). There's equilibrium between him, major dealer Hollywood Nicky (Sean Combs) and the Mafia, led by Artie Bottolotta (Burt Young), but that won't last for long.

You've guessed right: this is, indeed, a prequel to Carlito's Way, sans Pacino and De Palma. You've guessed right: it's dreadful. About the nicest things I can think to say about Rise To Power is that Luis Guzman has been excellent in other films (not this one though - he's just irritating) and I've always enjoyed the films of Van Peebles's father, Melvin.

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There is simply nothing worthy of recommendation here. The script is hackneyed, riddled with stereotypes and offers nothing that hasn't been seen in every single gangster film ever made. The direction barely stretches beyond weak. I'd let you know what I thought of the acting had I seen any. Hernandez is probably about the least bad, but if you're following in the footsteps of Pacino, that just isn't good enough.

And what of Puff Daddy as an actor? Well, until such time as someone makes a prequel to Citizen Kane, with that annoying child from Jerry Maguire as the young Kane and Vanilla Ice as a kindly sled seller, the idea of Puff Daddy (or whatever he happens to be calling himself this week) acting is about as bad as it gets.

Bad Hollywood. Bad, bad. Go and sit in the corner and think about what you've done.

Reviewed on: 13 Nov 2005
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Prequel. No Al Pacino. Puff Daddy.
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Director: Michael Scott Bregman

Writer: Michael Scott Bregman, based on the novel by Edwin Torres

Starring: Jay Hernandez, Mario Van Peebles, Michael Kelly, Luis Guzman, Burt Young, Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs

Year: 2005

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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Carlito's Way