The Players Club (1998)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Urban Comedy  |   Release Date - Apr 8, 1998 (USA)  |   Run Time - 104 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Mike DiBella

Ice Cube's directorial debut is an all-out assault on the senses, the nerves, and good taste. While his masterful marijuana comedy Friday remains a cult classic, this dead serious urban comedy works only as a morality play. Cube employs some interesting psychedelic cinematography and mise en scene, and also shows a good grasp of advancing the story through clever plot ploys, but the story is so grossly riddled with strained dialogue and so awkwardly structured that every right move ends up in a cinematic dead end. Some scenes have extraordinary emotional power, achieved through intense acting, but the cast is mostly amateurish and uninspired. Although Ice Cube uses a number of the cast members from Friday, here their characters are devoid of the life that sustained his earlier film. Apparently Player's Club's editor fell asleep in the editing booth: The result is a circular, maze-filled mess.