November 2002
8 Mile

Reviewed by Wilson Morales

8 Mile

Distributor: Universal
Director: Curtis Hanson
Producers: Brian Grazer, Curtis Hanson, Jimmy Iovine
Screenwriter: Scott Silver
Cast: Eminen, Mekhi Phifer, Kim Basinger, Eugene Byrd, Brittany Murphy, and Omar Benson Miller

 

Riding the bus to his factory job, Jimmy (Eminem) wonders if things can ever get better in "8 Mile"
DJ Iz (De'Angelo Wilson), Chedder Bob (Evan Jones) and Sol (Omar Benson Miller) go crazy as Jimmy's freestyle rap decimates the competition at The Shelter club in "8 Mile"
Future (Mehki Phifer) has big dreams for Jimmy (Eminem) and the Three and One Third crew in "8 Mile"
Jimmy (Eminem) struggles to keep his day job in "8 Mile"
Jimmy (Eminem) and Alex (Brittany Murphy) both plan to break through the boundaries that have shaped their lives in "8 Mile"
Jimmy (Eminem) finds his voice in a showdown with rival rapper Lotto (Nashawn Breedlove) in "8 Mile"

It’s not easy to discuss personal issues with anybody. Some either hide from it others or run away from them. Rap artist Marshall “Eminem” Mathers is very successful with his music, but it wasn’t always like that. Growing up in a trailer with a mother and sister in an urban part of Detriot was and is not a cool thing. But through his rhymes and good friends, he persevered to become one of the best-known lyrical rappers of today. 8 MILE is the fictional story of how Eminem through his character embraced his personal situation and made a name for himself. Director Curtis Hanson has taken this story and made a “Rocky” like film where all who go see this film will be entertained.

Jimmy “ Rabbit” Smith (Eminem) is ready to come on stage at Showdowns, a local club where rap battles occur. Think of it like the Apollo Theater for rap. Suddenly as his opponent finishes, Jimmy can’t open his mouth. He clams up when he’s insulted because of his race and his background. Comforted by his boys (Mekhi Phifer, Omar Benson Miller, De’Angelo Wilson), all is not lost. While he may have had stage fright back at the club, his home life doesn’t make life easier. Forced to go back to trailer where his unemployed mother (Kim Basinger) and his sister live, he has to put up his mother’s boyfriend, whom he hates. While working at factory where his co-workers are ex-cons, Jimmy senses the time is now for him to get out of the city. A chance meeting with a new girl (Brittany Murphy) enlivens his possibility of fighting his fears. When the reigning rap champ of the Showdowns, Papa Doc (Anthony Mackie) challenges him to a rap duel, Jimmy backs off. As gifted as he is, he doesn’t want his personal issues aired out for the world to know. Sooner or later, Jimmymust overcome his fear.

8 MILE reflects Eminem’s life without factually being his life. The same was done many years ago with “Purple Rain”, which starred Prince. When a rapper/ singer decides to get into the film industry, heads are ready to roll because the acting is horrible and the story is not credible such as Glitter. With 8 MILE, Eminem is brilliant. He’s no Marlon Brando, but he holds the film together along with the well-rounded cast. He rhymes may be controversial but they make sense in the long run. Mekhi Phifer lends a good supporting hand as the best friends who know Rabbit’s potential. In a small but captivating role, Kim Basinger goes the extra mile playing the mother of Jimmy. With Hanson’s direction and Scott Silver’s script the settings and the dialogue is well placed. What ultimately stand out are the music and the rap battles. Many rap artists talked about their upbringing in their music and in 8 MILE, the film shows that embracing and fighting your personal issues works in your favor. 8 MILE is an entertaining film that will please all.

 

 

 

 

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