Next Day Air

2009-07-03 14:39
 

What it's about:

Donald Faison stars as a whacked-out, weed-smoking delivery man who accidentally drops a large cocaine shipment off at the wrong address, leading to a chain reaction of drug-dealing panic. When two bumbling criminals accidentally receive the package, they think they've hit the jackpot. But when they try to cash in on their luck, it triggers a series of events that changes the lives of ten people. Small-time hoodrats Brody (Mike Epps) and Guch (Wood Harris) immediately arrange to sell the coke to Brody's drug dealer cousin (Omari Hardwick) and his bodyguard (Darius McCracy). But when the intended recipients of the package, wannabe gangster Jesus (Cisco Reyes) and his feisty girlfriend (Yasmin Deliz), realise the box hasn't arrived, they set out on a desperate search to find it before drug kingpin Bodega Diablo (Emilio Rivera) notices it's missing…

What we thought:

Next Day Air is a comic crime caper with a wonderfully talented cast who try to add some gusto to a tired, played-out plot. Director Benny Boon reeled in big names for his film, but the end result simply doesn't have the slickness of other drug films like Pulp Fiction or the tortured fascination of Heath Ledger's Candy.

Among his cast is Mos Def, Mike Epps, Wood Harris and Debbie Allen (of Fame, er fame). Great cast right? But one obvious oversight is casting talented Mos Def as Eric, a tiny role with only two scripted scenes. Next Day Air's clever marketers placed Mos Def in the centre of the posters but the script could have given him at least a few more lines.

While there's a hint of character depth in the brotherly love between Omari Hardwick and Darius McCracy's characters, the scriptwriters have slipped past the budding subplot and moved along swiftly toward a grand finale.

The film has some pretty good moments, especially one joke pointed at Afro-American slang and a laid back scene where Mos Def and Faison share a joint and reflect on their lives. It's just a pity the potentially witty script is anchored with a dreadfully unoriginal plot. The pace switches unpredictably from light-hearted comedic relief to cigar-burn torture and vulgar, yet intriguing, killing techniques, and the end result has a rather jarring effect.

The film offers no serious laughter but the final shoot-out is well executed and impeccably edited. Benny Boom's directorial debut might be a fun frolic with a smashingly violent finale, but ultimately leaves the audience unsatisfied.


A whacked-out, weed-smoking delivery man accidentally drops a large cocaine shipment off at the wrong address, leading to a chain reaction of drug-dealing panic.

John 2009/07/06 9:25 AM
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Pulp Fiction a drug film? Not quite!
Uncle 2009/07/06 10:12 AM
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Agree with John - how is Pulp Fiction a "drug film"?
preshen govender 2009/07/07 9:34 AM
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Lord of the Rings is also a drug film talking trees, middle earth, women are fairy, only male bonding and one ring to rule them all.
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