Director(s): Jean-Claude La Marre (Brothers in Arms, Sugar Valentine) Writer(s): Jean-Claude La Marre (County General, Nora’s Hair Salon) Starring: Pras, LisaRaye, Glenn Plummer, Ed Lauter, Bobby Brown Gang of Roses and Brothers in Arms, writer/director Jean Claude La Marre’s two black westerns, were both so bad that making my way through them was more of […]

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Go For Broke

Director(s): Jean-Claude La Marre (Brothers in Arms, Sugar Valentine)
Writer(s): Jean-Claude La Marre (County General, Nora’s Hair Salon)
Starring: Pras, LisaRaye, Glenn Plummer, Ed Lauter, Bobby Brown

Gang of Roses and Brothers in Arms, writer/director Jean Claude La Marre’s two black westerns, were both so bad that making my way through them was more of a chore than writing their reviews. After the suffering I went through I’d pretty much written off La Marre as a no talent hack. Go For Broke and Sugar Valentine (which will get a review sooner or later) changed my opinion of the man.

After an opening scene that pays homage (in the real world we call that stealing) to Pulp Fiction, losers Jackson (Fugees member Pras) and Rome lose their winning lottery ticket to diner robber Belinda (LisaRaye). Belinda is arrested as she’s leaving the diner, but she manages to hold on the ticket, creating a terrible situation for Jackson and Rome. In debt to two loan sharks for a hefty amount of money, the two search for a way to get close to Belinda. With the help of jerry-curled attorney Mouse (La Marre), the two deck themselves out to look like women. The next step is to rob an old woman and get locked up in a women’s prison, but as things go, the woman dies of a heart attack.

Both Jackie and Romie (as they’re now known) are sentenced to lengthy prison sentences for their crime. Now the duo has to figure out ways to maneuver themselves around things like showers and cavity searches as the two enter a federal penitentiary for women. Prison warden Lessen (Lauter) takes a liking to Romie, who he sees as a replacement for his dead wife, all while two of the gangs continue their conflict with both “girls” getting involved. Those two people who are looking for their loan to be paid back (Plummer and Brown) also enter the prison, posing as prison guards.

Go For Broke is at its best when not in the prison. The diner scene and the subsequent ones where Jackson and Rome try to figure out how to get the ticket back are quite funny. Once it goes into the prison it becomes bogged down thanks to its plot having to make room for so many characters, many of who don’t have much comedic talent. Then there are a whole lot of jokes that simply aren’t funny, regardless of who delivers the material.

I’m willing to overlook the lazy script, which plugs in convenient occurrences rather than anything that really makes sense, since few urban comedies actually make me laugh.

DVD: Barebones

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Go For Broke, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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