Oct. 24, 2002 – "Love and a Bullet" isn't much about love.
Yahoo! Movies suggests it's about just about everything else, though, calling the picture a "thriller, action/adventure and comedy." A critic sees it as a satire. And there's no shortage of sex, either. But mostly it's about mayhem and murder.
The movie revolves around the character Malik Bishop, a cold-blooded professional hit man with a hot bod that he's not shy about showing off. He's played by Treach (a.k.a. Anthony Criss), former lead rapper of Naughty By Nature, whose previous screen credits include "The Meteor Man" and "Jason's Lyric."
Bishop, we learn, was a gangsta kid destined to become a killer after witnessing the murder and suicide of his parents. Having worked his way up the ranks to elite mob executioner, he unexpectedly falls in love, with — of course — his boss's girlfriend (Shireen Crutchfield) that he has been told — of course — to take out. And that doesn't mean on a date.
Despite its being an "obviously low-budget production," The Cincinnati Enquirer's Margaret McGurk managed to find the film a "witty" satire with "a script full of sharp, acid-dipped observations and a gut-level sense of the absurd."
Boxoffice Online's Tim Cogshell, on the other hand, calls it "a fairly trite formula crime film that treads mostly familiar territory." Bishop "doesn't want to kill this girl, and isn't sure he wants to kill anybody anymore, which ironically, yet obviously, places him in the position of having to kill a lot of people to protect his intended victim, including the boss to whom he's so dedicated."
This, Cogshell points out, "is not an unexplored theme." As evidence, he cites not only Tom Hanks in the recent, critically acclaimed "Road to Perdition" but also the 1999 "Ghost Dog," starring Forrest Whittaker as a loyal black hit man allied to a mobster. But whereas "Ghost Dog" took a philosophical approach in exploring the morality of killing as a vocation and the ethic of loyalty at all costs, Cogshell says, "Love and a Bullet" merely "has pretensions that it's about loftier, existential questions, which are left unexplored."
For a coolly robotic blow-by-blow accounting of the film's violent and sexual content, check out the Rotten Tomatoes sub-site called "Kids-In-Mind."
"Love and a Bullet" lasts for 1 hour and 40 minutes. It's rated R for strong violence, language, sexuality and nudity.
It's playing at Market Square East. Thomas.
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