State Property

Sadly, attempts at synergy create grotesque monsters like State Property, the new movie from Roc-a-fella records. Roc-a-fella is home to rap stars Jay-Z, Damon Dash, and a host of others, many of who have roles in this movie. Theoretically, the movie is a means to capitalize on their fan base. Fans of their music will want to see the movie, and people who aren't fans who see the movie may want to buy their records. Well, whoever sees this movie will not want to do anything to support Roc-a-fella, lest they release more horrible movies. Essentially, these people know rap. They should stick with rap. State Property is about the rise of a small-time drug dealer. Its basic premise is something that can be found in any number of rap songs; violence, drugs, the thug life, more violence, violence, violence, and guns. State Property is not a movie, it is an extended rap video minus the music.

What is missing is a dope beat and a deft lyrical delivery, leaving the movie looking flat and lifeless. Cleverly rapping about this one thing, watching it is another. Writer/director Abdul Malik Abbott (Streets is Watching) and co-writer Ernest "Tron" Anderson have a lot to learn about writing and directing films. They use a digital camera, which gives the film a cheap look, and fill the screen often with random violence and naked women. The quality is akin to something a group of friends decide to make on a weekend. They all think it is cool, but it plays like one big inside joke that nobody else understands. Take all of the 'f'-words and 'n'-words out of the script and probably one-third of the dialogue disappears. The special effects all involve gunshots, wounds, and blood, and they are all cheap. The acting is worse. Most of the actors unwittingly induce groans or laughs with their performances.

Beans (Beanie Sigel, Backstage) decides he wants to be rich, and that the way to do this is to sell drugs. To do this, he and his crew murder their way to the top. Abbott annoying skips over most of his rise to the top, except for a couple killings. Beans wants money, and is unwilling to share it with others. If they hesitate, they die. As his empire expands, he is able to move into the suburbs with is girl and their daughter. However, Dame (Damon Dash, Backstage, Highlander: Endgame), another dealer is finally willing to stand up to Beans and his men, sparking a small but public war. State Property portrays this struggle much less interestingly than it sounds. Most of the movie is Sigel yelling, and he is just not effective as an actor. Sadly enough, he is probably one of the better people here. Aside from attempting to further the acting careers of some of its rap stars, there is no apparent reason why this movie exists. It does not posit anything meaningful on any topic whatsoever. It is not engaging as an action movie, nor is it as a drama. Worst of all, it is too dull a movie to enjoy mocking it while watching.

Mongoose Rates It: Really Bad.
1 hour, 35 minutes, Rated R for strong violence and sexuality, nonstop language, and drug content.

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