film reel image

film reel image

Friday, May 13, 2022

Lord of the Streets 2022 * 1/2 Stars


If David Ayer decided to direct a film that didn't really involve law enforcement and/or dirty pool fuzz, then Lord of the Streets would be that film. If 1990's Lionheart was made today and involved a more heighten style of bone-crunching violence, then Lord of the Streets would fit right in. If a cockeyed version of Rocky took place in the seedy underbelly of dirtied-up LA, then Lord of the Streets would suffice. "You gotta fight". Indeed you do.

Lord of the Streets stars Anthony "Treach" Criss. "Treach" is a rapper for Naughty By Nature and this is the first flick I've ever seen him in. Criss gives a sympathetic performance in an otherwise pretentiously thuggish pic that has mostly mediocre acting. "Treach" plays Jason Dyson, a former MMA fighter who has to recruit an inmate to fight for him and get him out of a life-threatening debt. We're talking bare-knuckle brawling where the term "ride or die" is solely evident. 

Fashioned in a cinematic fantasy-land where the cops tread very lightly and the villain (Kane played by "Rampage" Jackson) has more power than established Michael Corleone (oh brother), "Streets" is low budget, hip-hopped, and veritably silly. 

"Treach's" acting isn't the problem here, it's director Jared Cohn's ego trip as producer, writer, and helmer of "Streets". Albeit, Lord of the Streets is unsympathetic, non-empathetic, and with its ghetto bird rap soundtrack, a bloodied mess that can't quite take itself seriously. When people are shot and killed in "Streets", they're remembered so much as a light jab. 

In retrospect, Lord of the Streets could have benefited from some more focused editing, a little solace from its myrmidon characters, and a sense of justification for extirpating at will (you'll see if you watch the movie). I don't plan on taking it to these "streets" with a second viewing. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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