Several weeks ago, “Lottery Ticket” appeared and then quickly disappeared from movie theaters nationwide. It wasn’t around long enough to have a major box office impact but the film was bad enough to disappoint anyone who bought a ticket for the tasteless comedy.
When “Lottery Ticket” begins, the audience meets Kevin (Bow Wow). Kevin lives with his Christian grandmother (Loretta Devine) and works at Foot Locker. In the opening scenes we watch as Kevin walks to work with his best friend Benny. Along the way, Kevin stops to take a convenience store order from a friend, listens to gossip from a neighbor and is confronted by a local thug. He does all of these things even though he is running late for work and is supposedly “in a hurry.” This long sequence drags on for several minutes and foreshadows the insipidness of the entire film.
Eventually, Kevin buys a lottery ticket and wins over 350 million dollars. He tries to claim his prize but the state lottery office is closed for the 4th of July weekend. Kevin and Benny then have to protect the lottery ticket from their overzealous neighbors.
From there, this already disappointing movie gets worse.
After the neighborhood hears about Kevin’s success, everyone tries to take the money from him. Unsurprisingly, a pretty girl suddenly wants to become Kevin’s girlfriend. Blinded by her good looks (and the film’s lackluster writing), Kevin doesn’t realize her intentions until he is lying in bed with her. Before they do anything, he figures out that she only wants to sleep with him in order to become pregnant. She wants to have his child so she can make money off of child support. Like so much of the movie, this scene is absolutely tasteless.
In addition, we also see a priest try to publicly con Kevin into giving up some of his winnings. The priest tells his congregation that he wants a new church and a new wife and he is awarded with ample applause from his Christian audience. The churchgoers all know that he is trying to take Kevin’s money but they keep applauding nevertheless.
The story also features several scenes where guns are waved around nonchalantly. Few people seem to mind when loaded weapons are aimed at their neighbors. It is hard to find humor in such situations or in watching people make fools of themselves.
If the tastelessness of this movie wasn’t so prevalent, the identity issues would be. From start to finish, “Lottery Ticket” doesn’t seem to know what genre it’s supposed to fit into. There are scenes of comedy that fall flat. There are action sequences that are completely out of place. To top it all off, there are also uplifting scenes near the end of the movie.
A positive message about using the lottery winnings appears from nowhere and then plays a key role in the film’s conclusion. If this movie wanted to be uplifting, it should have focused on that concept earlier, instead of relying on the crude and tasteless. Instead the movie asks the audience to watch actors degrade themselves and then invites them to look to the film for inspiration.
“Lottery Ticket” is an often crude and stereotypical film that could qualify as one of the worst of the year. I’m glad this didn’t find a big audience nationwide and I hope that eventually Hollywood will get the message and stop releasing such tasteless comedies.