Let me take you back to the 80’s and the early 2000’s, simple times but complicated times especially in music and the “streets”. Paid In Full is a hood movie that dresses itself as a drug film when in reality it is a movie about brotherhood. Here is the BytownBlog review of “Paid In Full”:
So much to say, but I will limit it to three main positives: the acting, the sound track and the story line. Mekhi Phifer stands out with his pivotal role of Mitch, especially with the infamous car scene that is Oscar worthy. Cam’Ron plays Rico and you start to question yourself…is this man acting or just being himself? Wood Harris plays the title character, Ace, a friendly drug dealer but he gets out shined by Phifer and Cam’ron. This says a lot because Wood also puts up a fantastic performance. Since this film was produced by Roc-A-Fella it had a great sound track that was fitting of the events in the film and at times it felt like a music video. The story arch and plot is the cherry on top because it doesn’t feel rushed. Most “hood” movies feel forced and very unrealistic (ex. Belly) but the director, Charles Stone III, made it digestible for the audience.
One of the weirdest parts of this movie is the DJ like narrator that randomly hops in and tells us what is happening. It is random and unnecessary. My biggest critique is that the build up to the 3rd act and climax was too long, yes the plot was great but the 2nd act drags on. Ace’s transformation was slow and the return of Mitch felt slow in nature. The cameo’s in this film also felt forced, especially when N.O.R.E shows up with 0 relevance in the plot.
The Final Take
This film is about brotherhood and family, but it is dressed up as a drug hood movie. Sadly most people will ignore those elements but it doesn’t matter because the acting, the sound track and the storyline make this movie very very special.