Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Next Day Air

"That was some of the best flying I've seen to date- right up to the part where you got killed."

Two grade- F crooks are accidently delivered a small fortune in grade- A cocaine by a less than ambitious delivery man. Now all three are unknowingly and inexplicably bound to the rightful receivers, the rightful owners, and the would-be buyers.

I'm always up for a good crime movie. Especially modern ones: Usual Suspects, Smokin' Aces, Layer Cake, with their slick cinematography and ever-quirky characters. But my favorite part of the crime movie will always be... well let's come back to that.
Next Day Air's strongest asset is it's cast. From the bumbling and hilarious Duo of Mike Epps(Something New) and Wood Harris (Remember the Titans), to the smooth Omari Hardwick (Gridiron Gang), who ended giving my favorite performance. As a fan of Scrubs I am pleased to say Donald Faison (Scrubs, like I said) is quite funny alone, but side- splitting when given another cast member to work off i.e. Mos Def (The Woodsman) or his *Ahem* Boss. The Hispanic characters can feel a bit cookie cutter at times, with Yasmin Deliz (A new comer to my library) occasionally pushing a little too hard as the mouthy girlfriend- but neither of these is enough to take you out of the story.
Director Benny Boom makes his feature film debut with NDA, and it's not a terrible first attempt. Before now he was for the most part a music video director, so it's no surprise that the camera work is mostly flat, but punctuated with a few crime-movie-cool money shots. The music, however, deftly fills some of the gaps between the camera candy. It's smooth and full of little hooks to catch your ear, the same way that bass line keeps coming back for you in Ocean's Eleven.
NDA is a simplistic crime movie that works. While the plot is straight forward the story still feels full- the pacing and comedy bring you to the climax without ever leaving you to check your watch. Unfortunately, it's the climax where this movie falters.
My favorite part of any crime movie is the twist at the end. That one in a million way the anti-heroes make their get away. A character you've completely forgotten about comes back to save the day, or that piece to the puzzle you've been looking at the whole movie without realizing it, finally falls into place. They've always got that little thread that keeps you wondering how you missed it as you get in your car and drive home. But Next Day Air has none of these.
The last ten minutes of the movie feel like first time writer Blair Cobbs had written himself into a corner and gone for the age old out: Everyone starts shooting. This could very well be what he'd had in mind all along, but it just didn't seem to jive for me. The fireworks start, and though there are still a couple more good scenes to be had- the movie feels like it's fizzled.
But take heart, all is not lost. Is it a bit of a downer in a movie that felt like it was really gonna do something cool? YES. Is it enough to ruin the overall experience? NO. Ending or no, I am loath to condemn this movie to the "I'd rather spend my money on a bleach and ammonia latte" category. I say grab some friends, some popcorn and the beverage of your choice and prepare to be entertained- just know going in that it won't be a "10".

1 comment:

Watcher X said...

what a nasty latte....

I didn't like the "we're black so we do drugs and have no life" plot points sometimes.... it seemed a little ham-handed at times....
that being said, the movie had enough eye-candy to sate chocolate-lovers