Like just about every other recent pop star before him, Lil' Bow Wow has landed the starring role in a major motion picture. Unlike the rest of them, he has managed to carry a good, clean family film. There's nothing too offensive here and kids of all ages (at least from the test screening) seemed to eat it up. While it's not terribly original (see "Rookie of the Year"), it's not trying to re-invent kids' movies, it's just trying to entertain in a fun, safe way, which it does.
Bow (Mr. Wow?) has enough boyish charm and enough charisma to show what could be a promising acting career in addition to his duties as a rapper. Morris Chestnut ("The Brothers") does well as an unwilling mentor who becomes a father figure to the orphaned boy. Crispin Glover is pretty creepy as the greedy "caretaker" of the boy, and Robert Forester and Eugune Levy both have humorous bit parts. Funny cameos by famous basketball players with obviously little acting skills give it an authentic feel.
While this probably won't do too well with critics, that's not who it was made for. The target audience is young kids and it will work for them. Parents won't have to worry about anything objective, except a questionable scene where Bow climbs an electrical wire in a rainstorm to recover his shoes. It's entertaining for kids and passable for adults taking their children. If this sounds good to you, you'll probably like it. If not, it wasn't made for you anyway.
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