Parole be damned, ex-con O2 (Tyrese Gibson) takes on South Central gang leaders after his car is stolen with his son in the backseat. Rapper The Game plays the main gangster--in a part that just as easily could have gone to DMX or Ja Rule--and Meagan Good is a beautiful street hustler on O2's side.
Big question: The cast and soundtrack provide hip-hop street cred, but does this flick have a distinctive plot?
Skip it: "Waist Deep" doesn't have an original bullet in its chamber, though it does dispense a truckload of ammo and a dozen The Game albums worth of N-words. The rock-and-a-hard-place plot makes the neat-and-tidy conclusion that much harder to stomach.
Catch it: If you need to learn that taking a gunshot victim to a convenience store bathroom instead of the hospital gives him an awfully low chance of survival.
Bottom line: Proficient direction by Vondie Curtis Hall and passionate performances by Gibson and Good attempt to keep this continuous stream of gunfire afloat. But "Waist Deep" is up to its neck in cliché, and with decent turns in such formulaic material, you'll like the player but wish you passed on the game.
Bonus: Need examples to prove that cell phone use should be legal for city drivers? Check out how easily O2 chats in the middle of a high-speed chase!
Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.
Directed by Vondie Curtis Hall; screenplay by Hall and Darin Scott; photographed by Shane Hurlbut; edited by Terilyn Shropshire, ACE; music by Terence Blanchard; production design by Warren Young; produced by Preston Holmes. A Rogue Pictures release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:37. MPAA rating: R (for strong violence and pervasive language).
O2 - Tyrese Gibson
Coco - Meagan Good
Meat - The Game
Lucky - Larenz TateCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times