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A big time drug dealer Victor Rosa is looking to get out of the game and sees his chance with a big deal and a new friend who happens to be a Wall St. stockbroker. Thinking this will be his chance to go out on top, Victor soon finds out that he has been double crossed and his last option is to get revenge. Written by
A latino NYC drug world with one large twist...not bad, not great
Not knowing much about the drug world, or about the Latino drug world in Brooklyn in particular, I was fascinating on the basic level of curiosity. And some amazement, I suppose.
This isn't a badly made movie. The leading actor, John Leguizamo, is subtle enough as Victor Rosa and has an inner core of decency to keep you identified enough to watch. The plot needs that because there's a lot of the well worn drug violence to wear you out. There is also, however, a second plot element that you don't quite expectRosa finds an opportunity to invest his drug earnings into high yield stock deals through a very non- Latino Wall Street man.
So there is a big twist or two to come, and this really makes the movie more of a fictional bit of creativity. Written and directed by Franc Reyes, "Empire" is about all kinds of rivalries. It's also wants to be about love and is thin there. You wish he had taken the slightly different tack the script offered him and tilted away from the shooting and strutting (lots of cocks hanging out here) and more into the minds and hearts of these people, who start to become real for us.
No such luck. Somehow they managed to get Isabella Rossellini in for a small but good partif you're a fan you'll enjoy that. And Leguizamo adds some tenderness (real or not) to larger scene. And location shooting, frankly, is really nice, showing not the usual sides of New York (or LA) and not the romanticized ethnic neighborhoods (like the Italian or Jewish sections of old), but the regular, rough-edged reality of Brooklyn now. Or at least in 2002. Things keep changing down there really fast.
I don't recommend or not this movieit's purely about whether you like this kind of world and want to get immersed in it. Nothing really special happens, but it's got a steady interest that might keep you going.
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