Review by Steve Rhodes|
2½ stars out of 4
PAID IN FULL is a formulaic film by director Charles Stone III, who brought us
the popular "Whassup?" Budweiser commercials. Something of a blend of THE
BLACKBOARD JUNGLE and SCARFACE, the story is set in a ghetto in Harlem in the
The local royalty are the drug dealers who flaunt the symbols of power -- big
wads of cash, gold chains, fancy cars and Nikes. The central character, Ace
(Wood Harris, REMEMBER THE TITANS), ironically was called Lucky when he was
little. Now he's a kid -- actually more of a young adult -- about to be seduced
by the dark side. He is currently working at one of the few honest
establishments, a cleaners -- nice metaphor.
One way that we know that Ace would be worth saving is that, once he has been
converted to dealing drugs, he proves to be a real entrepreneur. While most
dealers hold out for top dollar, Ace cuts the price of his product in order to
dramatically increase the volume and hence the profits.
Filmed in somber, dark tones, the movie is sometimes hard to decipher. The
dialog is tougher still, since the ghetto accents and slang are so thick that
you may find yourself wishing that the movie had subtitles. Although it's a
poignant drama, it's nothing original. If you saw it on TV, you'd probably turn
it off, convinced that you had already seen that movie.
PAID IN FULL runs 1:33. It is rated R for "violence, pervasive language, some
strong sexuality and drug content" and would be acceptable for older
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes