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Dead Man Acting

Hollywood never realized that Tupac Shakur was always better than his movies

Rourke is his usual lovable self, a dirtbag so loathsome that the suggestion he possesses a silent nobility registers nothing more than a derisive chortle. Shakur should have been grateful -- playing against Rourke is one of the few things that could get the audience to pull for a drug-dealing character played by a convicted sex offender. The most intriguing performance here comes from Ted Levine, playing Bullet's amusingly psycho brother, who whacks off in this movie's margins to images of the Holocaust.

True to the aesthetics of any Julien Temple movie, the style-over-substance approach blurs the racial and drug issues the movie broaches. We can only lament the fact that Shakur didn't live to learn not to associate with such hack poseurs.

Gridlock'd.
Directed by Vondie Curtis Hall. With Tupac Shakur, Tim Roth, Thandie Newton and Charles Fleischer. Rated R. 92 minutes. Bullet. Directed by Julien Temple. With Tupac Shakur, Mickey Rourke and Ted Levine.

Rated R.
96 minutes.

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