50cent22 Freelancers (Lionsgate, 96 minutes, R), released on Blu-ray and DVD in late August, is a cop drama headlined by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.

Malo (Jackson) is a man who, along with his two best friends Lucas (Ryan O’Nan) and A.D. (Malcolm Goodwin), joins the force.  Still haunted by the killing of his NYPD officer dad (The Wire’s Andre Royo), Malo immediately joins up with corrupt lawman Joe Sarcone (Robert De Niro) and Sarcone’s morally debased enforcer LaRue (Forest Whitaker).  Under their deadly influence, Malo is temporarily seduced into the criminal underworld and must drag himself out of this pit before he meets his own demise.

Although Freelancers isn’t a classic NYC cop drama like Prince of the City or Serpico, it definitely has its merits.  Watching De Niro and Whitaker work together for the first time is a plus, and O’Nan almost steals the show with his showy and volatile performance as Jackson’s unhinged buddy.  For the viewers craving the requisite eye candy, Anabelle Acosta plays Jackson’s love interest and Beau Garrett (Tron: Legacy) is Joey, Malo’s part-time lover. Director Jessy Terrero shot most of the film in New Orleans and only had a couple of days to do exterior shooting in New York, but he successfully gave Freelancers a gritty, Big Apple feel.

The Blu-ray & DVD special features include behind the scene interviews with the film’s cast members and filmmakers, including writer L. Philippe Casseus and producer Randall Emmett.  The deleted scenes also offer viewers a deeper look into Joey, who is actually an undercover cop looking to take down Sarcone’s crew.  Other scenes explored a possible love relationship between Acosta and O’Nan’s characters.  In the audio commentary, which also features Jackson, Terrero talks about his decisions to trim Garrett’s part and excise the love triangle aspect of Freelancers. The commentary is also highly informative, as Terrero gives an in-depth and candid look at the challenges of making the picture.

Freelancers also stars Dana Delany and late actor Pedro Armendariz Jr. (Casa De Mi Padre).  To check out Delany talk about working with 50 Cent, check out our video interview with the actress.


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posted by Greg Srisavasdi: @Gsrisavasdi