Tuesday, December 8, 2009



More than 10 years ago Ice Cube’s FRIDAY was making its rounds. People swore up and down that it was the funniest thing that they had ever seen. The movie was funny, but it was no CADDYSHACK. Since that time, Ice Cube’s career has been bottoming out. There have been some flickers of life such as THE BARBERSHOP, but overall, Cube has participated in some weak rap albums and even weaker movies. THE JANKY PROMOTERS might be Cube’s hard reset.

After the success of FRIDAY (and Chris Tucker temporarily moving on to the A-list), Cube got in close with Mike Epps. Mike Epps is a funny guy, but NEXT FRIDAY, THE FRIDAY AFTER NEXT, and ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS never hit that pacing that was created in the original FRIDAY.

PROMOTERS, however, is another rude, misogynist, stereotypical ghetto slice-of-life vehicle in the tone of FRIDAY.

PROMOTERS chronicles an 18 hour hustle by Russell Redds and Jellyroll (Cube and Epps), two low-down concert promoters in M-Do (Modesto) CA, to present a Young Jeezy concert. These two are janky alright. Russell, dressed in perpetual gangster red, drives while pulling on a bottle of Corvoisier. Jellyroll is a failed manipulator who is tempting fate by bedding a lunatic cop’s wife.

There are some funny bit parts and a Joey Greco cameo as the CHEATERS-type host of a show called SO BUSTED. Young Jeezy plays himself, and it seems that all women in this film are either hustling crack (Russell’s mother), second class citizens to dominant male predators, or skeezed-out, aggressive groupies. All of the ghetto clichés are flaunted.

The local project kingpin fronts big money to Jellyroll for a guarantee that Jeezy will show up at his “afterparty.” Russell raids his honeymoon cash in order to rent the concert hall. The rest of the film is a series of bait and switches and outright lies to keep the concert on schedule.

This film is low-budget to an extreme “no editor needed” level. PROMOTERS hiccups as it opens with a typo in its onscreen dictionary definition of the word “Janky.” There is no moral or even any point to the story. And the film seems to simply run out of juice. But Cube and Epps keep the thing somewhat alive by showboating smart-assed ineptitude all the way through. It is clear that these guys wanted to have fun making a movie, and they did. PROMOTERS is wide open for a sequel or a prequel that would explain Russell’s maxed-out credit card collection or bullet-holed Chrysler 300 on a spare tire.

While it isn’t groundbreaking in the sense that FRIDAY was, THE JANKY PROMOTERS fits right into that ghetto comedy niche that FRIDAY fine-tuned. Neither are great films, but they both have their moments. PROMOTERS is an empty-calorie, R-rated comedy that goes nowhere but is entertaining nonetheless.

It is unfortunate that in order to enjoy PROMOTERS, one has to take all of Ice Cube’s syllabus into account. Weighing this film against the other garbage that Cube has done, PROMOTERS knocks the ball out of the park. Weighing this film against any other recent comedy such as BLACK DYNAMITE or THE GOODS immediately exposes THE JANKY PROMOTERS as having a long way to go to be accepted as a seriously funny comedy.

-Mediasaurus Rex