"Lottery Ticket" Review: Striking it Rich in the (Pretty Nice) Hood
Midway through Lottery Ticket, a teen-comedy-cum-wish-fulfillment fantasy, the movie's hero, Kevin Carson, goes on a spending spree. The holder of a $370 million lottery ticket that he can't cash in until after the July 4 holiday, Kevin, played by rapper Bow Wow, accepts a $100,000 loan from a local gangster and proceeds to spend it all in one night. The theme of this formulaic but vibrant comedy could best be described as a paraphrase of Biggie's well-worn credo. Mo' money, mo' problems — but mo' money, yeah, definitely. Lottery Ticket works best when it uses the housing project to orchestrate zany collisions of broad comic types, all played by familiar faces: the neighborhood gossip (Charlie Murphy), the hysterical granny (Loretta Devine), the avaricious preacher (Mike Epps). Ice Cube plays a retired ex-boxer named Thump, and watching him putter around telling stories of bygone days is a sorry reminder of just how very, very long it's been since Friday, the movie that perfected the template from which Lottery Ticket was drawn.
Get the Film Club Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.