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Movie Mom

“All About the Benjamins” is to Ice Cube what “Crossroads” is to Britney Spears, a vanity vehicle designed by a star who has very little sense of how people like the characters in the movie (or the people in the audience) behave in real life. This is like a smudgy copy of a copy, bits and pieces of other movies put together so that the star can pretend to shoot and throw a couple of punches.

Ice Cube, who produced the movie, apparently decided that he would enjoy playing a bounty hunter, and not just any bounty hunter but one who (yawn) doesn’t get along with his boss and refuses to take on a partner.

And who does he chase down but the jive-talking con man (Mike Epps). Then they both get mixed up with $20 million in stolen diamonds and an even more valuable missing lottery ticket.

All of this is just an excuse for showing off with some smart-alecky comments and shoot-outs. Ice Cube and Epps are able performers with a nice rapport, but they can’t do much with this lackluster plot, like the umpteenth re-tread of a reject from the “Beverly Hills Cop” series.

Parents should know that this movie has extremely bad language and very violent shoot-outs. A man is shot point blank in the arm and later tortured. A stun gun is applied to a man’s crotch. There are sexual references and situations, including overheard sex. Characters drink and there is a joking reference to drug use.

Families who see this movie should talk about why it was important for Bucum and Reggie to learn to trust each other and what they did to earn each other’s trust. Do you agree that it “sounds like a female” to talk about feelings? What do you think they will do next?

Families who enjoy this movie should see Ice Cube’s fine performance in Boyz N the Hood.

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