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What would you do if you won the lottery? Borrowing liberally from the Friday movie template Ice Cube and Bow Wow give us their answer to that oft-asked question.

Drafting a supporting cast of Brandon T. Jackson, Terry Crews, Loretta Divine and many more of Black Hollywood’s neophytes and veterans, Lottery Ticket has hopes of being the next in a long-line of “tales from the hood” to earn a spot in your DVD collection. But is it worthy? Here are five good reasons to check it out.

1.    Bow Wow—Admit it ladies–when 13 year old Shad Gregory Moss hit the hip-hop scene we took one look at those baby caramel eyes and skin and thought the same thing: “When he grows up that boy is gonna be trouble!”  Out of the oncoming slew of rappers making a run for the silver screen, Bow Wow is ahead of the pack.  After an impressive turn in 2005’s “Roll Bounce” Bow Wow brings an endearing earnestness to his portrayal of an 18 year old boy in the hood with a lottery ticket and a dream.

2.   Brandon T. Jackson—Nick Cannon has made no secret that he plans on being the ‘next’ Will Smith, but he may have to sit this round out with Brandon T. Jackson on the scene.  If you remember his riotously funny turn as Al Pacino in “Tropic Thunder” you know what I’m talking about.  Jackson also knows how to dial down the humor as witnessed in this year’s “Percy Jackson & The Olympians.”  In ‘Lottery Ticket’ Jackson and Bow Wow share an easy onscreen camaraderie which lends to some of the funniest moments in the movie.

3. Fight Night –Deciding to let the young’uns take the lead, Ice Cube channels his inner “Pops” in his role as Mr. Washington, the neighborhood recluse.  With his slow, shuffling gait and snow-white hair, this retired boxer offers a piece of invaluable, level-headed advice: “protect yourself at all times.”

4. Teairra Mari Needs A Sponsor—No urban coming-of-age movie is complete without the beautiful and heartless gold-digger right?  As Nikki Swayze, the neighborhood hottie who set her sights on Bow Wow and his newfound fortune, Teairra Mari makes a convincing case to men everywhere as to why you should always have a condom—and a prenup.

5. Foot Fetish—“The Lottery Ticket” may go down in history as the world’s first sneaker porn flick. When Bow Wow and his entourage decide to buy out the local mall’s Foot Locker–including a $5,000 pair of Clark Kent Air Force-1s–sneaker pimps may need to smoke a cigarette after.

Verdict: While Lottery Ticket plays fast and furious with every stereotype known to black cinema (the pimpalicious pastor, the ever-praying bible thumping Grandma, the sexually ambiguous ex-con etc.), it’s the perfect summer chaser to those of you still arguing over the spinning top at the end of “Inception.”

ReBecca Theodore-Vachon


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