`Held Up' is just plain insulting

May 12, 2000|By Paula Nechak | Paula Nechak,SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER

Jamie Foxx began a successful comic career on TV, starring in "In Living Color" and "The Jamie Foxx Show." While he did some supporting bits in films like "Booty Call" and "The Players Club," it was last year's "Any Given Sunday" that really pushed the young performer into the spotlight.

But Foxx may find his carefully planned trip to movie stardom more elusive than planned.

For one thing, he needs to pick his properties more carefully. "Held Up" is a real dud, with few laughs, no characterization, little story, a cluster of stereotypes and cliches and just plain nothing for Foxx to do.

He plays a successful Chicago businessman named Michael Dawson who is vacationing with his fiancee, Rae (Nia Long), in the Arizona desert. He has bought an antique auto and, when Rae learns he has spent their future house down payment on the old beater, she takes off, leaving Michael to fend for himself in redneck country.

The inevitable bad luck occurs and Michael is taken hostage in a botched convenience store robbery after his car is stolen and he asks to use the phone. He's held captive with a bunch of white trash doofuses and winds up becoming the brains behind the brawn -- all the while subjecting the viewer to the most moronic and unimaginative sight gags going.

The film is an insult to anyone with half a pea for a mind and some notion of what constitutes narrative tension and successful timing in comedy.

`Held Up'

Starring Jamie Foxx, Nia Long

Directed by Steve Rash

Rated PG-13 (mild violence, language)

Running time 90 minutes

Released by Trimark Pictures

Sun score * *

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