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· 84 minutes
Directed by Benny Boom
Written by Blair Cobbs
· Donald Faison
· Mike Epps
· Wood Harris
· Darius McRary
· Cisco Reyes
· Mos Def
· Emilio Rivera
· Omari Hardwick
· Yazmin Deliz
You can make a movie, but it's how the studio markets it that determines how people will perceive the film. It's an easy editing trick to cut scenes together, slap some music on it and you can make one movie seem like something completly different. Look on Youtube for the recuts of 'The Shining' or the many Brokeback trailer parodies and you'll see what I mean.
Such is the case for this movie, Next Day Air. Marketed as a comedy starring Donald Faison (Scrubs), Mike Epps (Next Friday) and Mos Def (Be Kind Rewind), the movie is actually more of a crime movie with a few comedic elements with a cameo appearance by Mos Def. Not quite the movie I'd expected. In all honestly I'm still not sure how much I disliked the movie, the more I think about it the more I hate it however.
In Benny Boom's feature directorial debut, 'Next Day Air', purports to be a comedy about a package of a large amount of cocaine that gets delivered to the wrong address which sets off a confrontation between a Mexican drug lord, played by Emilio Rivera (Street Kings) and idiot criminals played by Mike Epps (Next Friday) and Wood Harris (The Wire). Also, Donald Faison of Scrubs plays Leo, the delivery driver who makes the wrong delivery and gets caught up in the mess as well.
To say that this is also a first time script from Blair Cobbs is an understatement. The movie is marketed as a comedy, but in reality it's more of a crime movie with a few minor comedic elements, all of which you see in the commercials for the film. It's also really small in scope and scale, with not a single scene used as filler or character development for the most part, it's all just set up, set up, set up, and then the inevitable climax. Much like the movie 'Walking Tall', with Dwayne Johnson, if you've seen that movie.
There is some good acting in the film however. Emilio Rivera shines in his villianous role as Bodega Del Diablo, the Mexican drug lord. He reminded me in look and mannerism like a latin Chazz Palminteri. Mike Epps and Wood Harris had some great comic timing as well, so the funny parts of the movie were actually funny.
The only real complaint I had as far as acting goes was Donald Faison, who seemed to almost go out of his way during his performance to remind us that he is indeed an African American after years of playing less urban roles. It really seemed to me to be the primary reason for him taking this role, and had he toned it down a bit more, I may have enjoyed the film that much more.
Benny Boom's directing of the film is decent for a first time film effort, his choice of how to shoot an action scene though, namely the all too brief climax leave something to be desired however.
The audience I saw it with was chuckling through the funny parts and seemed to enjoy the movie, myself though I hate it when I get a bait and switch from the studio's marketing department. Like for example when I watched Diary Of A Mad Black Woman. I thought from the trailers that it'd be a hilarious romantic comedy. What I got was a drama with comedic elements. I enjoyed the movie, but had I known what the film really was before getting to it I may have enjoyed it that much more.
You never really get to spend enough time with any of the characters in the all too short movie to really care about them for the most part, and the ones you do get to know a little bit more you realize are despicable people who deserve whatever fate is coming to them. So overall it's a movie about horrible people doing horrible things to each other, with some comedy thrown in here and there, not really my ideal way to spend an hour and a half.