Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema (2008)
Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 5
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 761
An uneducated gas station attendant with a taste for the finer things in life turns to crime as a means of making ends meet, only to find himself on a dangerous collision course with the biggest drug dealer in town. All Lucky Kunene wanted out of life was a house by the water, a beautiful wife, and a 7-series BMW. Unfortunately, Lucky hails from a poor Soweto family, and his application for a university grant has just been refused. Dejected at the thought of spending the rest of his life pumping
Jun 11, 2010 Wide
Sep 28, 2010
Anchor Bay Films - Official Site
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rags-to-riches tale cut from the same cloth as City of God, Goodfellas and Scarface.
Writer-director Ralph Ziman strings it all together with slick competence, but given that leading man Rapulana Seiphemo does a persuasive line in moral ambiguity, it's disappointing that the proceedings too often default to glib shoot-'em-up.
The opening credits of Gangster's Paradise note that it was "inspired by real events." It would be more accurate to say that the film was inspired by Brian De Palma's Scarface and similar fare.
Startlingly original, if occasionally overambitious. This is Tsotsi without the feel-good glow, a tale of entrepreneurship's perils and boundless pleasures.
Though South Africa's racial strife is frequently invoked, sociopolitical inquiry takes a backseat to creaky gangster-cinema tropes.
It's hard not to feel such complex, dramatically rich subject matter merits a less prosaic treatment.
Despite the familiar ground, Ralph Ziman manages to orchestrate an engrossing and energetic film full of memorable characters and a wicked soundtrack.
Bold, energetic and extremely complicated, this epic thriller is an eye-opening exploration of ... Johannesburg
Issues of race and social injustice add a little grit and texture to an otherwise overlong and over familiar gangster story.
Sadly things unwind and the movie loses power with covert special pleading for the wiseguy protagonist, who is supposed to be morally superior to obviously vindictive white cops or evil drug dealer rivals.
Ultimately, like all the best gangster films, it is a story of people, not principles. Actions, not ideas. And it is very nearly a masterpiece.
The film pays its dues to the classics. Not only does it lovingly rip off a truck heist from Heat, but Lucky and his gang actually sit down and watch Heat for tips.
Lucky's journey fails to inspire either empathy or a more scrutinizing ethical engagement; he acts simply as a character in a cut-rate gangster mash-up might, and around the time of that first, zany carjacking it ceases to matter where he'll end up.
A cheerfully violent South African ramble about a gangster unwilling to "sit on his arse waiting for Mandela". Initially intriguing, it collapses in an hour.
It's a rich portrait made all the more worrying by apparently being based on actual events.
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