Jimmy, known to his friends as Rabbit, is a young man trying to make his way out of the burned-out shell of inner-city Detroit. Rabbit’s also a white kid trying to make music in a predominantly African-American community and culture, with the help of his friends and new girlfriend, Alex.
This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Curtis Hanson quantifies the genius of Marshall Mathers with this sterling semi-autobiographical take on Eminem's indomitable rise in hip-hop subculture. A strong socialist undertone resonates throughout.
When I was looking for a place to stay in Detroit it was a seller's market. I was trying to find a place around 12 mile. They looked at me and said "No". I ended up in Pontiac. The funniest scene for me was when Rabbit started chanting, "Fuck Cranbrook!" I didn't go to the High School. I went to Cranbrook Academy of Art. It brought back such sweet memories.
(Spoiler alert) Up until this movie, I never cared much about Eminem, I have to admit. And, this is a huge confession, I had no idea that a rap battle could be something interesting. What is truly amazing is that Eminem's character wins the final battle by transcending (and antecipating) all his weaknesses, because he has nothing else to lose. That scene, those lyrics, everything it means, is very well constructed.
I do not like rap, but this film is not really about rap. I am also not a fan of Eminem, but he seems to do well enough playing himself under the direction Curtis Hanson who, as being influenced by Nick Ray, manages to create a pretty decent film of a social outcast on the uprise out of what would have been a mere promo reel in the hands of your average director.
The movie is basically about the journey of a rapper (Eminem) and his friends, but mostly about Eminem, from zero to hero. Nothing is really special about this movie. It's just a fun experience seeing Eminem's acting. But no, you won't see him do his "rap style" in this movie. So I'll go with a three.
"Fuck a beat, I'll go A Capella. Fuck a Papa Doc, fuck a clock, fuck a trailer, fuck everybody. Fuck y'all if you doubt me. I'm a piece of fuckin' white trash, I say it proudly. And fuck this battle, I don't want to win, I'm outtie. Here, tell these people something they don't know about me." (3,5)