Studio/Distributor: Lionsgate/Grindstone Entertainment Group
Cast: Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Forest Whitaker, Robert De Niro, Dana Delany, Beau Garrett, Anabelle Acosta, Raeden Garder, Robert Wisdom, Michael McGrady, Dominique DuVernay, Matt Gerald, Michelle Torres, Amin Joseph, Jeff Chase, Ryan O’Nan, Andre Royo
Director: Jessy Terrero
Writer: L. Philippe Casseus
Plot Synopsis: The son of a slain NYPD officer joins the force, where he falls in with his father’s former partner and a team of rogue cops.
Bottom Line: Somehow, there is someone out there who is basically asking for more movies featuring Curtis Jackson, better known by his hip-hop nom de plume “50 Cent”. After delivering two great performances in both 2005’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” and 2007’s “Home of the Brave”, the quality of the movies he’s starred in lowered with each movie. Every movie began to become more and more riddled with cliches, wooden acting and every time he came with a movie, it was almost like it was the same movie (“Gun”, “Caught in the Crossfire” & “Blood Out” are just a few examples). However, it looked like he turned a corner with his collaboration with director/actor Mario Van Peebles, the drama “Things Fall Apart” where he went the distance by taking off some pounds of muscle for his role as a football player who’s diagnosed with cancer. He turned in a good performance in an otherwise average film. Then, the trailer I saw for “Freelancers” looked like 50 once again turned in a good performance with some heavy hitters like De Niro & Whitaker. But with this movie, it’s back to square one. “Freelancers” is so slapped around with cliches that you would think you be watching the wrong movie once you put it in the DVD or Blu-ray player. The story goes like this: 50’s character Malo is the son of a New York cop (Royo) that was killed in a car explosion. Malo follows in his father’s footsteps and becomes a cop himself, along with his two best friends (O’Nan & Malcolm Goodwin). They soon get trained by three veteran officers with Malo put under the expert tutelage of two veterans, his father’s former mentor Sarcone (De Niro, basically playing his previous criminal characters as a lawman) and the hardened detective LaRue (Whitaker, doing Denzel Washington’s iconic “Training Day”s character but lacking in something that remains unknown for some reason). Sarcone & LaRue take Malo under their wings and eventually teach him that there are some unlawful fringe benefits that come with being a cop. However, Malo soon learn that these things come with a price, from drugs to robbery to murder. Do some of these things seem familiar to you at all? They should. They are some of the things you expect in crime dramas about corruption in the police department. You soon recognize some of the cop drama tropes that are in the movie (except for the “gun and badge” trope; that’s unfortunately missing from this movie). The acting isn’t a problem in this movie because everyone’s doing an okay job with their performances, it’s the familiarity of it all. There’s too much of it in this movie and that’s what hinders the quality. “Freelancers” is one cop movie that feels too much like the cop movies we’ve seen already.