STUDIO: Lionsgate
MSRP: $27.98
RUNNING TIME: 95 Minutes
• Deleted scenes
• "25 Days and Not a Minute More" featurette

The Pitch

as summarized by an intern at Seventeen Magazine."

The Humans

Emanuelle Chriqui, Chazz Palminteri.

The Nutshell

is a smooth operator, and man of contrasts. He’s a sensitive womanizer, a
dreamer who loves to sell out, and a businessman who can’t be bothered to keep
his business afloat. His luck turns around (and around and around) one night,
though, when, in a display of preternatural speed and reflex, he dives in front
of a bullet as it’s about to hit the mafia don father of one of his childhood
friends, Dolly.

Mr. Mafia
gets a bit perturbed by the attempted hit, and orders Dolly to choose a
bodyguard for her protection. She chooses Darrell, of course, and also finds
that they are in need of some (ahem) protection. What follows is a series of
zany, madcap adventures as Usher takes his shirt off a lot and rival mobs try
to gun them down.

Things I Learned From The Movies: When discharging a firearm at a target,
move head back and slightly to the left to draw the perfect bead.

The Lowdown

This is
Usher’s movie, his chance to prove he’s a leading man with the teen idol
magnetism to make him a modern Elvis. Unfortunately, the guy stumbles over his
own smarminess and manages only two emotions: hopelessly earnest, and sexy,
both of which he has already gotten down pat with his music. I guess it doesn’t
take much else to make a target audience swoon. He’s backed up by a couple
notable performances. Emanuelle Chriqui as Dolly is charismatic and cute, and
Chazz Palminteri sells his threats with a brutality that clashes pleasantly
with the film’s otherwise prosaic mood.

Ron Underwood has taken dumb premises before and turned them into clever
on-screen fun (witness Tremors and City Slickers), but this
time around he’s got a concept that’s tired, a script that doesn’t have a good
sense of event coherency, and a lead who can’t break out of his well-established

In The Mix is a love story, and little else.
Its mob-based mystery has its ending telegraphed around minute fifteen, and the
leads lack the ability to sell a rich-kid romance as anything more than a
celebration of pretty people doing pretty lifeless things.


The Package

meant for popular and wide consumption, so everything’s pretty slick, from the
video and audio quality right down to the menus. There are only a couple of
bonuses, though, to pad the DVD out. There are some deleted scenes of no great
interest, and a behind-the-scenes featurette called "25 Days and Not a
Minute More." The film was shot in twenty-five days, and the featurette chronicles
the rushed schedule and frayed nerves on the set.

As for
the cover art… Usher and his confident smirk are exactly what the marketing
people want you to see. It’s just too bad there’s nothing much behind it.
Metaphorically, of course.

4.5 out of 10