Death of a G Release Date: 2006 Genre: Action Director(s): Larry Gardiner Writer(s): Larry Gardiner Staring: Grady McCardell, Curtis Von Burrell After the first few months of 2006 saw me have varying success when it came to receiving screeners from Maverick Entertainment, the packages stopped after March. The first thing that popped into my head […]

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Death of a G
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Action
Director(s): Larry Gardiner
Writer(s): Larry Gardiner
Staring: Grady McCardell, Curtis Von Burrell

After the first few months of 2006 saw me have varying success when it came to receiving screeners from Maverick Entertainment, the packages stopped after March. The first thing that popped into my head was that the company had simply decided that reviews like this one weren’t benefiting the company in a positive manner. As it turns out, I’m not important enough to warrant that kind of attention. Rather, Maverick was following the example set by studios like Sony, who recently cut their screener program for retailers, in part due to piracy fears. Since there is no Maverick press list, when the retailers stopped receiving movies, I did too. Sadly, it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting back on the list anytime soon, so I won’t be reviewing their product as promptly and regularly as I would like to. That’s a shame, as movies like Death of a G are prime examples of why I’ve always looked forward to new Maverick films over the years.

The truest statement that I can make about Death of a G is that it’s nothing new. Most would say that the story of the rise and fall of a gangbanger has been done to death. I wouldn’t go that far. The problem with the direct-to-video tellings of this tale, however, is that most of them are downright awful. Death of a G, while definitely having plenty of flaws, is still one of the better urban films I’ve seen in a long time.

Marvin and his younger brother Mike were raised by their God-fearing Grandmother after their poor, criminal father and step-mother were gunned down in an attempt to rob a convenience store. Now in his late 20s, Marvin has raised the collateral to buy a hot nightclub, which is just part one in his plan to become a made man. Mike at first avoids the life, knowing that the only way out is in a body bag, but at some point does join up. As a result, when Marvin is killed in a shootout, Mike is put in charge. With his eccentric friend Kareem by his side, Mike takes the East Street Clique even further than his brother. Unfortunately for him, shady people thrive in shady businesses. Lurking in the shadows is both BJ, a local narcotics detective who is still friends with Mike, and the DEA.

Let’s get the criticisms out of the way first. For one, the inclusion of BJ into the story just served to confuse me. In fact, the entire last third is one weird mistake after another. It seems as if director Larry Gardiner didn’t have an exit strategy in mind when he was writing the first two thirds of the script. All of a sudden the token flaming homosexual character is introduced, at which point he’s called a “faggot motherfucker” twice in the span of five minutes. DIVERSITY~! This is followed by one of the characters going on a shooting rampage, and the aforementioned BJ character getting introduced into the fray despite being pushed to the background (literally, as he’s the narrator) for almost the entire movie. BJ isn’t the only character that’s treated like this either. Another is revealed to be a DEA agent in the final fifteen minutes of the movie. Without a convenient flashback to how we initially met this individual, I somehow doubt 10% of the audience would’ve remembered him or her. And lastly, Gardiner is so intent on making Death of a G ninety minutes long that there’s at least 12 minutes of padding that is thankfully easy to fast forward through.

Okay, I’m finished. Whoo. I feel better now.

Despite all that, I still had a fine time watching Death of a G. Gardiner may not be the greatest director in the world when it comes to using the camera (he still knocks out a few impressive shots here and there), but he has an excellent command over his actors. The acting as a whole is tremendous. The relatively good audio and video quality helps out as well. It was also nice to see actual squibs being used during the shootout scenes, most of which Gardiner handles exceptionally.

For that first two thirds Death of a G had me as a captive audience member. Those sixty minutes were fast paced, filled wit vibrant characters, and as an added bonus, lacked a generic love interest for the male lead that often hampers these films. It’s a shame the last third is such a mess.
DVD: Barebones.

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Death of a G, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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