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Lottery Ticket wins big

Gail Choice | 8/18/2010, 5 p.m.

For some, winning the lottery is a dream come true. And so it is with Kevin Carson (Bow Wow), a young man living in the projects with his Grandma played by Loretta Devine.

Actually it's Grandma who likes to play the numbers, and as an after thought Kevin played a group of numbers he got off a fortune cookie ... hummm, that's an idea. To his surprise and amazement, he won $370 million in the Mondo Millions Lottery. His joy turns to horror, however, when he learns the Lottery office is closed for the 4th of July holiday weekend. His only hope is that his winning is kept a secret ... fat chance.

"Lottery Ticket" features an all-star ensemble cast. Brandon T. Jackson ("Tropic Thunder") stars as Carson's best friend Benny. His quick wit is no match for the mayhem that awaits Kevin, as he tries to keep the bad guys and greedy neighbors from stealing the ticket.

Naturi Naughton plays Stacie ("Fame") his childhood friend, who only has Kevin's interest at heart. Speaking of heart she has to stand by and let the 'hoochie' mamas take their shot at a man she loves.

Charlie Murphy ("Frankenhood") is Semaj, the voice of the community ... literally. Nothing is sacred, neither is the winning of a lottery ticket.

Terry Crews ("The Expendables") stars as Jimmy the Driver, a tough guy nobody messes with. His assignment, watch out for Kevin and the ticket, which by, the way is unsigned. Jimmy works for 'Sweet Tee' (Keith David) who is the 'man' in the community, a mean, nasty man who forces a loan on Kevin, and holds him responsible for the big pay back.

What would you do if you won all that money, and got a loan you didn't ask for? Kevin goes on a shopping spree which includes his closest friend, and so-called entourage. He slowly begins to live up to the fact that he's going to be a rich young ma--life is good.

That is until he gets knocked the @#%* out.

Kevin finds life in the projects almost unbearable, pretty women want him, he now has a self-proclaimed entourage that supposedly watches his back, and then the toughest guy in the projects is released from jail, and he wants that ticket.

Gbenga Akinnagbe (CBS' "The Good Wife") stars as the much feared Lorenzo. He's full of surprises and doesn't scare easy.

Ice Cube (Mr. Washington) is not only the executive producer but he also stars as a boxer who never made it to the big time. Always watching what's going on in the projects, he becomes a vital link to Kevin's safety and sanity.

"Lottery Ticket" is an extremely funny and a somewhat serious movie. Ice Cube says he wasn't trying to make a 'message film,' but there are some realities you can't ignore. Benny summed it up in a very touching scene between his character and Kevin (Bow Wow), when Kevin accused him of wanting the ticket for his own purposes. Not a lot of deep moments, but this one wipes the smile from your face.

The film was shot in a nearly vacant existing housing project in Atlanta, Ga., that was demolished shortly after the production wrapped. The close quarters, located on rolling hills showed how people lived on top of each other and how things could get out of hand very easily.

Kevin is a good kid, who is forced to grow up, man up and take on the entire project, if he has to. His biggest problem is no doubt Lorenzo. Keep your eye on this character, he's full of surprises, and mean as a barnyard dog. In fact, he's so mean, he makes you laugh because he can take a brother down with ease.

"Lottery Ticket" is urban comedy at its best. As 'Cube' says he will always make urban movies, because that's his favorite kind of movie. Hopefully, he'll keep making funny family movies like "Lottery Ticket" which is in theaters Friday.

Gail can be reached at gail@hollywoodbychoice.com.