Caught Up tries to be something it’s not

Ever been to a movie to discover shelling out $7.50 for the ticket is the only reason to watch the whole thing? This encapsulates Caught Up (Live Entertainment).

The movie revolves around Daryl Allen, played by Bokeem Woodbine (Dead Presidents), and the bad luck that follows him everywhere. After a short prison stint, Allen strives for the straight and narrow. He has half the money to fulfill his dream of opening a nightclub, and a friend offers to pitch in the rest.

What he fails to mention is that he plans to steal, not withdraw, the money from the bank. After the robbery, he runs back to Daryl – who is waiting in the now getaway car. His friend also shoots the bank security guard, maiming him in a way most men would never forget.

Daryl returns to prison for another five years, and is released with the same good intentions as before. Shortly after his release, he runs into Vanessa (Cynda Williams, Mo Betta Blues), a sultry fortune teller who seduces him into a steamy love affair. Their relationship gets off to a rocky start because they are shot at every time they are together.

Vanessa hooks up Daryl with a good, but slightly shady, job. And here, the twists and turns begin. Vanessa is a diamond thief, and the rightful owner of the stones has come looking for her. At the same time, the bank security guard who lost his “stones” is looking for a little revenge on Daryl.

Then the film splits in a million directions, and none of them are easy to follow. Director Darin Scott tries to push the limits of a Tarantino-style film, but lacks the raw talent or imagination to back it up. His critical successes as producer for Menace II Society and Fear of a Black Hat may have mistakenly led him to try his hand at directing.

The acting highlights are reserved for cameo appearances by Snoop Doggy Dogg and LL Cool J, but outside their combined five minutes on screen, the acting leaves much to be desired.2 Hatchets

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