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Never Die Alone (2004)

No king rules forever.

Directed by:

Ernest R. Dickerson

Rating: 2/10

Running Time: 88 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

If you thought you’d seen the last of DMX’s movie career in 2003’s textspeak-peddling ‘Cradle 2 The Grave’, then all I can say is you all need to start crossing your fingers MUCH harder, because – in brainless underworld yarn ‘Never Die Alone’ – the gravel-throated rap-piece is back. And he’s worse than ever.

In this fist-bitingly bad trip into the yawning chasms of Crapsville, hip-hop’s least-convincing thesp plays “King” David, a big-money drug-dealer who somehow manages to narrate a story from inside his own coffin (don’t worry rubbish movie fans, I’m not giving anything away – as early on as the very first shot it’s revealed that our main character is all set to snuff it).

When he gets stabbed for telling another bloke that he looks like he’s going on a camping holiday, King Dave is rushed to hospital by permanently confused-looking passer-by Paul (David Arquette). Touched by the actions of this good-but-dim Samaritan, Dave decides on his death-bead to leave all of his worldly goods to Paul – including his car, his money, and of course his bling. Handily, this veritable Hall of Plenty also includes the dictaphone into which old Kingy has been recording all of his not-very-insightful thoughts (stuff like “The Lord takes care of fools and babies, and I’ve never been either one” – what, not even when you were a baby?). So Paul uses it to write a bio-piece for the local paper, and – as you’d pretty much expect – gets dragged into Dave’s world in the process.

Set in a seedy criminal hot-bed populated by perma-swearing nogoodniks, ‘Never Die Alone’ truly is an awful film. Based on the novel by Donald Goines and directed by ‘Bulletproof’ helmsman Ernest Dickerson, it’s a piece of work obsessed with proliferating the glorification of American gangland stereotypes. Even disregarding the fact that I couldn’t find “gangsta” culture any duller if it actually took the form of dishwater, I can find little to commend about a film as predictable, clichéd, witless and heavy-handed as this one.

It's Got: The F-word, the N-word, the M-word, and a few other words that even the DVD subtitlers appear to have a bit of difficulty locating in their Oxford Gangsta-English dictionaries.

It Needs: To have its title extended to ‘Never Die Alone – but, if you really have to, make sure you only do it once’.

DVD Extras Some deleted scenes, a 5-minute ‘Making Of’, a quick look behind the scenes of ‘Taxi’, and optional audio commentary from Dickerson, DMX and screenwriter James Gibson. DVD Extras Rating: 5/10

Summary

Never Die Alone… and never watch this movie, if you don’t want to spend the rest of your days wishing you could have your 90 minutes back.

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