Waist Deep

posted June 30, 2006 12:00:00 AM CDT | 12 comments

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The ladies love Tyrese when heís in this element: an emotional yet volatile tough guy with a soft spot for kids and crisp white tank tops. If the hood had a Brad Pitt, itís this dude right here. All that said, when Tyreseís O2 character picks up his son in a vintage drop top, after a long day of security at a retail store, itís all believable. However, when the son hops in and tells his pop about his day, the movie loses something. For one, the kid says he kicks this other boyís butt. He comes off way too soft for any of that. And two, heís got this adoration for horses that isnít developed in the least. Címon, Waist Deep, you gotta mesh Tyreseís abs with dialogue thatís not so drab.

Coco (a scrumptious Meagan Good) walks by O2 (short for Oxygen, a title he got during his hustling days) at a traffic light. Cocoís selling menís suits. Tyrese is selling a gangsta persona. Both appear to just be window shopping. Anxious L.A. drivers tellíem to keep on pushing, but one goes beyond the usual honk and actually carjacks Tyreseówith lilí man sleeping in the backseat. Cars screech. Shoots ring out. Tyrese pursues. Store cameras capture it all. Like every other witness, Coco appears shocked by whatís just happened. Tyrese ainít buying her clothes or her story that she has nothing to do with the jacking. He snatches her up. If nothing else, O2 needs some companionship for the long journey ahead to reclaim his son.

Director Vondie Curtis-Hall (Glitter, Gridlockíd) lets us know early on whoís taken the childó Meat, a one-eyed gang leader played to scary perfection by The Game. Tyreseís undependable cousin, Lucky (Larenz Tate), works for Meat and tells O2 that if he wants the boy back, heís got to hit the boss man up for $100,000. Remember: O2 is a security guard and Coco has her Menís Warehouse thing working. Needless to say, cheese is in short supply. So they improvise.

The Bonnie and Clyde thing flops before the first caper. Nah, they gank a high-end clothes booster (Kimora Lee) sure enough, but it all happens so unbelievably. The bootleg Oceanís 11-style heists continue at trap houses and several banks. (Youíre just going to let dude into a safe-deposit box because he says heís the owner? Really?!?) But thatís not even the kicker. That doesnít come until Lucky informs O2 that the streets are too hot for them and they need to cool off somewhere. The two Ėyes, there is a decent amount of on-screen chemistry- notice a rich couple leaving their house. Not knowing if anyone else is inside or if the people are coming back, they move in! The shit is nuts.

Speaking of insane, The Gameís creepy feature film debut is dead-on. In fact, thereís a scene where Meat is roughing up a slow-paying Lucky right behind a ďStop The ViolenceĒ rally that proves to be the movieís best moment. And thatís too bad. Tyrese seems in great shape throughout. Meagan Good is a stunner from the first frame. Unfortunately, the script itself needs a little too much work to actually work.

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