DIRECTOR: Curtis Hanson
May Contain Spoilers!
Curtis Hanson is responsible for my all time favourite movie, L.A. Confidential (1997) and in 2002, he turned his hand away from 1950’s noir, to naughties Hip-pop. Eminem was riding high at time and the combination of a diverse film maker and one of the worlds most notorious and famous rappers seemed to be as dubious as it was appealing.
Not being a fan of R&B, it was Hanson who drew me into this film in the first instance and it was his expertly gentle and respectful direction which would keep my attention for the 110 minutes. Eminem is fine, a bit wooden at times but since he’s basically playing himself and that he is well supported, he pulls it off. The story is simple, as it follows a young wanna-be rapper, B-Rabbit (Eminem) as he tries to better himself and become a recording artist and leave the wrong side of the tracks in Detroit.
The tone is bleak and the gang violence has been tone down in my opinion, as whilst nasty at times, the death toll and bloodshed would seem to be a little light. The story has no real conclusion, just the hope that Rabbit can sort his life out and make good after beating his rivals in a rap “battle”. The message is good, especial for a teenage audience of the time, as Rabbit insists on working hard and trying to balance his work and music lives and is not relying on handouts or bumming around, just waiting for a break.
This would be Eminem’s best movie and one which proves that he can hold the screen but I do think that it’s Hanson’s triumph too, managing to create a real film about a real subject as many films of this ilk would focus more on dancing or the music rather than telling a gritty story.