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  • The_Pat_Bateman19 September 2005
    Where can I begin. I heard this movie was coming out and I was very mad. I am a huge fan of the original Carlito's Way and when I heard about this, I thought it would be just like almost all the other sequels that come out in Hollywood. I thought it would be bad. Boy was I wrong, this movie was much worse than I expected. Not saying all sequels are bad, but thats the problem with Hollywood these days, they make too many sequels and remakes and rush them. This was not a theater release, it is a DVD release. Still, in my opinion, there was no reason at all for this to be made. After I heard about this film was in progress, I then later heard Pacino was not in it. That right away killed any chance this movie had of being good. Why did I check this movie out then some of you may ask? Well I had the opportunity to see it so I did. I don't only watch movies that I have high expectations of, I had low expectations on this one obviously. I just wanted to see if it would have anything relevant in it. Now, if any of you reading this are a Carlito's Way fan, you know a lot of the story in the first one has to do with him going to jail.

    *VERY MINOR SPOILER* I wont ruin anything, because this may actually make you not want to waste 2 hours watching this trash. All I will say is- in the end of Carlito's Way 2, we don't see Carlito go to jail. Now, I don't know about any of you, but I would have thought a prequel to Carlitos Way would show how he ended up in jail. I even had some interest in actually seeing what happened.

    Now, thats not my only problem with the film. The actor who played Carlito did not do too bad a job, but he could not have saved this film if he tried. There's not even all those little things that should be thrown in there that Carlito's Way fans would like. You don't see any appearance of Kleinfeld or other key characters in the first one, I would have liked to see something like that. What is even worse, is Luis Guzman is in this film, yet he doesn't play the same character he plays in the first film. Big mistake on their part, why cast the same actor for a different character, it made the movie worse than it already was.

    Bottom line, I am a Carlito's Way fan, this new straight to DVD release is a disgrace. If you are a fan, don't watch this movie coming in with high expectations. This movie did basically nothing for me, and it is definitely one movie I wont be picking up on DVD, or watching ever again.
  • joethefilmgeek13 January 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    Why oh why do people take good material and feel the need to change it some how? Having read the book on which this film is allegedly based a couple of years ago, I can say that there is little if anything from the original book. I went into this film with low expectations - i knew it would have a crappy telemovie feel to it - but it even failed to meet these.

    This is not a prequel - the only relationship it has with the original is the name. This is not the story of Carlito Brigante, it is the story of a totally different character who's been given the same name. They have just totally spat in the face of every Carlito's Way fan out there; adding insult to injury by casting Luis Guzman, who plays a crucial character in the original movie, in a different role.

    What's most disappointing is that now that this film has been made no other film will be made addressing the original, untouched material of the book Carlito's Way - something I really would have liked to have seen. I felt the same way about Chopper - they have four books as well as interviews worth of fantastic non-fictional material and could have made a brilliant biography of Australia's most feared underworld figure, instead they made a ho-hum film about a deranged but strangely pathetic small time crook (though Eric Bana's performance was spot-on). Now we will never get to see Carlito's real initial rise and fall.

    The three stars is because, looking at it purely as a stand-alone flick, it is not so appalling - there are some decent performances (Jay Hernandez is no Carlito but he could be good in other roles) and the story is not too bad. Even Puffy Combs suits his role. But they totally misunderstand the nature of the underworld at that time (I am a bit of a crime-non-fiction buff)- something which the original film and the books got right (having been written by then attorney and now judge Edwin Torres).

    The fact is though, it's not a stand alone - it's perhaps the most disappointing prequel ever filmed.
  • This was just a terrible movie. It hurt me to watch it. Almost every action was unmotivated within the context of the movie, the acting was really poor (P.Diddy was the best actor which really says something about the movie) and the plot was generally predictable. Some links to Carlito's Way were okay, for example his dream of one day moving to the Carribien, but on the whole they were weak. The love interest in my opinion was flat out wrong but hey that's debatable. Anyways I really wasn't expecting much before watching the movie and I guess you could say even those expectations weren't met. I feel bad for Jay Hernandez because he actually is a decent actor (Friday Night Lights). He's lucky though because I'm sure there won't be too many people watching this movie. I generally give movies a decent rating if they spark my interest at all so I'm gonna go ahead and give this one two stars. Better luck next time. And yes I did enjoy Carlito's Way.
  • In the 60's, the Puerto Rican Carlito Brigante (Jay Hernandez), the Afro-American Earl (Mario Van Peebles) and the Italian Rocco (Michael Kelly) become best friends while in prison. When they are released, Rocco intermediates a heroin business with a family of the Italian Mafia leaded by Artie Bottolota Sr. (Burt Young). Carlito negotiates with the lord Leroy "Hollywood Nicky" Barnes (Sean Combs) the area where the trio could operate in his neighborhood and sooner the three friends become powerful. Later, Carlito dates and has an affair with the beautiful Leticia (Jaclyn DeSantis). When Earl decides to move to Barbados with his girlfriend and leave the heroin business, his stupid younger brother causes a situation with the Italian mobsters, and Carlito and Rocco have to resolve the mess to save their lives.

    "Carlito's Way: Rise to Power" is not as bad as written in many reviews in IMDb. Actually it is a good story, with the beginning of the criminal life of Carlito, showing his ability to negotiate. The story has good doses of humor, a decent plot and a surprising twist in the end. I do not dare to compare this movie with the excellent Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way, but I personally liked the explanations of the criminal life of Carlito and his friends. My vote is six.

    Title (Brazil): "O Pagamento Final: Rumo ao Poder" ("The Final Payment: in the Way to the Power")
  • If you hit your head with a shovel, write the script with your feet, you may come close to the intelligence level of this movie. There is nothing in this movie that hasn't been done a thousand times in other gangster flicks and done much better. Those who think "Scarface" was some kind of hero to be looked up to or saw "Goodfellas", "Menace II Society" or "Dead Presidents" and thought MMM "That's the life for me!" will like this movie. I thought I'd give the movie a chance, since the premise was perfect for a prequel. I should have known better after seeing Mario Van Peebles and Sean Combs were involved. Anyone above a 4th grade education, see the original with Pacino, a real actor, and be satisfied.
  • ironman4665 October 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    Wow...what can I say...First off IMDb says this is in the late 60s...which means Carlito would be very close to going to prison, He got out in 75 and said he was in for 5 years. They used a bunch of nobody actors, and a story that didn't even make sense. They bring back only one actor, Guzman, and hes playing a totally different guy. Why did it end with him and this Puerto Rican chick? Wheres Gale? He said he was in love with her before. Wheres Kleinfeld? He said he knew him forever...You'd think he'd have been in this one. And if this made sense, where are Rocco and the black dude in the first one? It was all just stupid...This is an insult to Pacino and the first film.
  • Deceptive Advertising... I saw a commercial for Carlitos Way: Rise to Power that states "From the Producer of Scarface and Carlito's Way" LETS GET IT STRAIGHT... Michael Bergman did not produce Scarface, in fact he was 'editing room assistant' for Scarface. Not to take away from Bergman's talent... but in my opinion he should of had a little more class. I think I can speak for the masses when I say... We hate being blatantly lied to. As far as the movie goes, It was poor at best. I did think Puff Daddy did a good job. Although, Luis Guzman should be ashamed for working on this film. Overall this film did not do a good job filling in the blanks for Carlito's Way. It's obvious this project was an attempt to make a quick buck rather a good film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The movie wasn't bad. This comment isn't for people who haven't seen the movie, its for people who didn't understand the movie, like a number of the people commenting this board.

    The movie is called "Carlito's Way: RISE TO POWER," hence why it displayed him rising to power. Had it been called something like, "Carlito's Way: Rise to Power and The His Arrest," or something to that extent I Would have been disappointed in the lack of jail time at the end of the movie too.

    This movie did just what it had planned to do, it showed Carlito's Rise to Power which involved pushing heroin, dealing with Nicky, dating Leticia, and his involvement with the Italians. Basically, him rising to power, and gaining his immense wealth. That's the movie. It's a prequel because it comes before Carlito's Way, the sequel.

    It obviously didn't tell of his relationship with Gail, or what put him in jail. Perhaps that's for a story of another movie. Say Carlito is in his late 20s to early 30s, I don't know his age, and then say he's in his late 40s when played by Al Pacino. Therefore there's still about 15 years unexplained if not more. I can't recall how many years he was in jail before "Carlito's Way" but if it was less than ten they'd have to skip around 5 years at the end of "Rise to Power" to get to him being put in jail. That would have confused you even more.

    If you happen to think that a prequel MUST lead up to a sequel, you'd be incorrect. One of the most popular sagas of all time shows you this. In Star Wars Episode 1, Anakin is a child, next thing you know he's a grown man. What happened in between? How was puberty for a Jedi? All the questions in between are unanswered, whether you ask them or not. The prequel did not simply lead you through every second until the sequel. Episode 3 is the prequel to Episode 4, but Luke's entire life is unanswered. Doesn't make Episode 3 a horrible prequel does it?

    If you want, make up your own "Carlito's Way: Downfall," I don't care, but don't say it was a horrible movie. It was a well done movie and well acted. It showed you a portion of Carlito's life you hadn't seen before. If you can't get over the fact that they didn't lead up to his arrest, then you're missing out on a good movie for a dumb reason.
  • I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the appalling average rating here on IMDb for this movie, someone somewhere must have given this movie a real low rating based on the trailer or on someone else's word rather than watching the whole thing themselves.

    Anyone with an I.Q. over 50 would have seen this film what it is, an intelligent well acted prequel to a modern day classic, yes it doesn't have a blockbuster cast or a huge budget BUT it is still very well done and had me hooked for the full duration. All I want now is a follow-up which covers Carlito's years running drugs through the Caribbean and into Florida and I can die a happy man. For those that have seen Carlito's Way but are unsure about watching the prequel all I can say is that you will be losing out if you give this movie a miss based on a lack-lustre trailer. Watch and enjoy!
  • delhart200115 September 2005
    Maybe the worst part of this film is the casting for the lead role Carlito Brigante, whichever way you look at it everybody expects a Pacino, but casting Jay Hernandez is a let down, even though he is a fine actor, he really had a lot to do to try and follow in Pacino's shoes, and i am afraid to say he failed dismally. Over all it is not a bad film, there is a lot worse out there, some nice acting from not so well known names, but i must say i was surprised by Sean 'P. Diddy' Combs performance, not your normal pop star turned pretend actor, he was really very good, and i for one will look forward to future work from him. I would suggest you take a look at this movie, forget about the original Carlito's Way, and just enjoy it for what it is.
  • flounder583 October 2005
    This movie is terrible. Carlitos Way(1993) is a great film. Goodgfellas it isn't but its one of the better crime films done. This movie should be considered closer to THE STING Part2 or maybe speed Zone. Remember those gems! The only reason this movie was made was to capitalize on the cult following of the original. This movie lacked everything De Palma, Pacino and Penn worked so hard on. There wasn't a likable character and that is the fault of everyone responsible for making it. I hope RISE TO POWER wins every RAZZIE it possibly can and maybe even invent some new categories to allow it be a record holder. After I watched this S@*T FEST movie, I sat down and watched the original Carlitos way to get th bad taste out of my mouth. After watching this I wish Pachanga came and whacked me out of my misery.
  • lasmith-64 October 2005
    I agree with another user comment.. This film on its own would have been considered pretty good. But the fact that its a prequel to Carlito's Way means it will always be compared. Hernandez is a decent actor but he is not even in the same league as Pacino.

    That being said, I felt that the acting was very good. There weren't any moments that made you cringe. I kind of worry when I see Mario Van Peebles in a movie because it means that the film is low budget. :) But even he was very solid as a 70s business man.

    I even thought Sean Combs was very believable as Hollywood Nicky. Kudos to him for not sucking in a movie.

    It is kind of unfortunate that this movie went straight to DVD.

    Definitely worth a watch.
  • Are you people kidding me? This was a very decent movie. I think the problem here is that too many people are comparing this movie to the original and there is no comparison. But Carlito's Way Rise To Power holds its own. Especially considering the budget was a mere $6,000,000, it did not have a star studded cast like Pacino or Penn, and shooting time was one month. I think the director Michael Scott Bregman did a pretty decent job considering it was his directorial debut and he also wrote the screenplay. I so enjoyed seeing Luis Guzman come back as a totally different character and what an enjoyable character! He totally pulled it off! This movie was stepped up a notch when he came on the scene! I loved watching Harlem in the 60's. I loved the humor in this film and I think it had its own flava. I think people need to give it a chance without comparing it to the original and gangsta classic Carlito's Way. AND JUST SO U DON'T GET IT TWISTED, THE PRODUCER OF SCARFACE AND CARLITOS WAY THAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT IS MARTIN BREGMAN, THE FATHER OF MICHAEL BREGMAN. NO ONE WAS DECEIVED. MARTIN BREGMAN IS THE MAN WHO MADE PACINO.
  • Carlito's Way: Rise to Power is a prequel to the film Carlito's Way. Without giving too much away though, the film's end doesn't fit to the beginning of the original, and thus is a bit of a disappointment. I have heard that there is another "missing piece" in between this film and the original, currently being worked on as a novel, if this is true, then time will tell how they all fit together, and many people criticising this film for not working with the original may have to eat their words. So, taking Carlito's Way: Rise to Power as a film in it's own right, it does quite well. Carlito meets two guys in jail and they push drugs when they get out. The usual gangster movie clichés are played out, but with some good comedy touches, clever plot and a focus on the morality of it all in dialogue. Any character played by Pacino is going to be a tough role to fill, but I felt Jay Hernandez did very well, and would love to see the "missing piece" get made if it is true. Sean Coombs was also surprisingly good, having the bulk of the best comedy lines. All in all, as long as you don't expect a movie that is as good, or directly links to the original, you should enjoy it.
  • People continue to make 'movies' that are not worth watching one minute of. This is the funny thing about the difference between actors and real life people. No one wants to watch Puff Daddy act like something that he is or used to be in real life. Do you think Gotti would have been a good actor? Nope. Stick to 'rappin' Show me one film that's actually worth being called a film that has a rapper in it besides Will Smith and MAYBE Ice Cube (Friday)...and I just thought of Ice Tea in "New Jack City." I just hate how in recent years movies have been becoming more and more junk if anything. A great art going downhill because of garbage like this.
  • random_avenger21 October 2010
    American director Brian De Palma's best known work is probably the 1983 crime epic Scarface starring Al Pacino, but its thematic companion piece Carlito's Way (1993) has plenty of fans too. Of course, eventually a prequel was produced for the latter, chronicling the eponymous Carlito's initial rise to the status he wishes to relinquish in the original film.

    At the beginning in the 1960s, Puerto Rican hoodlum Carlito Brigante (Jay Hernandez) is doing time for petty crimes when he meets two incarcerated criminal bosses in the prison. With the black Earl (Mario Van Peebles) and the Italian Rocco (Michael Kelly), Carlito sets up a drug trading business in Harlem, New York, upsetting the delicate situation between the rivaling ethnic groups controlling the area's criminal activities. The main rivals being an Italian family the Bottolotas and the empire led by a suave black gangster boss named Hollywood Nicky (Sean Combs), Carlito and his associates find their place between the two opposites, doing favours for both whenever necessary. His wealth increases and he starts a relationship with a girl named Leticia (Jaclyn DeSantis), but the gangster lifestyle is not without its hazards.

    Despite the change of director and lead actor, the expected elements of an urban gangster tale are all there: self-confident, hotheaded thugs, badass crime lords, honour codes, bloody vendettas... Even though I miss De Palma's touch with long takes and big chase scenes, I think director Bregman handles the storytelling decently, if less memorably. The colourful lighting in the atmospheric nightclubs is as good-looking as in the first movie and the authentic New York exterior locations always provide a great backdrop for the scenes of tough street life. Making the 1960s setting more evident could have added a nice touch to the whole though.

    Since we already know the conclusion of Carlito Brigante's story from the first movie, the prequel does not feel the need to examine his actions from a moral point of view very much. Perhaps for the same reason character development has been left rather faint too, even though the story superficially tries to provide different sides to Carlito's personality, such as romantic, brotherly and ruthless. Jay Hernandez may not be as charismatic as Al Pacino, but I don't have major complaints about his acting, or almost anyone else's for that matter. Mario Van Peebles delivers one of the best performances in the movie, as does the always good Luis Guzmán as a hit-man Nacho Reyes, a role different from what he played in the first film. Sean 'Diddy' Combs' role as Hollywood Nicky remains pretty forgettable though, partly due to the way the character has been written, partly to Combs' emotionless 'cool' appearance.

    For a straight-to-DVD movie Carlito's Way: Rise to Power succeeds far better than could be expected. It doesn't present anything new within its genre or provide interesting ponderings about the morals of crime, but I find it to be a perfectly watchable gangster flick. Though smaller in scale than the first film, Rise to Power can nevertheless be recommended (with some reservations) to fans of the Brigante saga.
  • Having read some of the negative reviews, I approached this with low expectations, but straight away was surprised by the good cast and classy production values, which were much higher than the usual movies released straight to DVD. Although not specifically a prequel, as it seems to be set in the same decade as the Pacino film, it stars the likable Hernandez playing the same charismatic character. The story kept you entertained all the way through until the end, which was the only slight disappointment. The final shoot out was a little anticlimactic, but managed to tie up the loose ends satisfactorily enough. Overall, worth a watch if you enjoy gangster movies, but don't set your expectations too high.
  • Last night I decided to watch the prequel or shall I say the so called prequel to Carlito's Way - "Carlito's Way: Rise to Power (2005)" which went straight to DVD...no wonder .....it completely ...and I mean completely S%&KS !!! waist of time watching it and I think it would be a pure waist of time writing about it.... I don't understand how De Palma agreed on producing this sh#t-fest of a movie....except for only one fact that I tip my hat to... Jay Hernandez who plays the young Brigante.... reminded me how De Niro got into the shoes of Brando to portray the young Don Corleone in Godfather II ...but the difference De Niro was amazing and even got an Oscar for it !!! Jay Hernandez well he has guts for trying to be a young Pacino.... too bad for him I don't think he will be playing in film anymore and by the way after I watched this sh#$%ty movie, I sat down and watched the original Carlitos way to get the bad taste out of my mouth.
  • skooty20037 October 2005
    Warning: Spoilers
    I'm a big fan of Pacino movies. He's one of, if not the best, actors of this genre. However, this movie could've been a whole lot better even though it had a poor cast. All they had to do was tell the story of Carlito Brigante up until he went to jail. Instead it seemed like this was just one of many stories that could be told of Carlito. All or even some of the questions about his past that we wondered about in the original could've been answered. As far as I'm concerned, thats the only way you can make this movie. Instead we get this prequel that has almost NONE of the original characters in it, a character that plays a different part from the original (horrible move), and a totally different love interest for Carlito. Don't even get me started with Puffy. No way can I take that cat seriously as a gangsta after watching him dance in all his artists videos. Evertytime that dude opened his mouth I was waiting for him to start dancing. He made me laugh if anything. Mario Van Peeples surprised me with his role. I thought he was gonna give a lackluster performance due to his recent history. He did rather well. He was probably the most "believable" out of the entire cast in my opinion. Jay Hernandez did his best but doesn't have the skills right now in his career to take on this role. I appreciated his energy and his efforts though. Hard to follow up Pacino. The only way you could even have a clue about what kind of person Carlito was, is to watch the original. Otherwise, Carlito looks like a cold blooded killer in one scene then a spineless wimp in another. He was one of the baddest gangstas of his time but you would only see flashes of that in this movie. Maybe this is a pitiful way for Hollywood to try and make a 2nd prequel to cash in on this failure. Wouldn't surprise me.

    Overall, in my opinion, this movie fell well short or what it could've been. The only reason I gave it a 3 was because I laughed a lot and Mario Van Peeples earned some respect back with me. A serious director should've taken this movie and actually put time into the story and turned it into an actual prequel. I'm extremely disappointed that this movie wasn't taken seriously. They would've been better off making this into a mini-series on HBO and actually telling the story like the original suggests. At the end of the movie, they had the nerve to suggest that Carlito would have to come back to the city. HEEELLLLO....thats the part everyone wants to see!!! Then again, this is all just my opinion. I can't tell you how to waste your money.
  • Soon after watching this film you will realize why it didn't even make it to the theaters! This movie does not deserve the "prequel" tag. Instead this is a common theme in Hollywood, rip off previously good movies with disastrous prequels, sequels, etc.

    This film's plot was bouncing all over the place like a ping pong ball, and the character development was non-existent. I seriously felt like I was watching a comedy at some points in the movie because the acting was so bad. P Diddy needs to stop tainting movies with his horrible acting, he actually made me laugh every time.

    The only good thing that comes out of this movie is Jaclyn DeSantis, who looks excellent in this movie and actually brought some enjoyment from watching this film.

    If you are a big Carlito's Way fan, I recommend you not watch this. If you decide to watch it anyway then treat this movie as if it ripped off the original, because that is exactly what it did.
  • bign0ah873 December 2008
    A complete and utter slap to the face to DePalma and Pacino.

    Do I need to even explain the plot? A rise from slums to riches in the ghetto streets of Harlem....yawn! Boring! What makes Carlitos Way a truly amazing movie was the sheer fact of storytelling and characters that explain how he got to where he was.

    Shame on whoever greenlit this project.

    Prequel? No.

    Story? No.

    Sean Puff Piffy Dadd farty licky? No..

    Pass. Better movies out there. Go rent Number 23 with Jim Carrey. Trust me..you'll lauh harder.
  • real_hill18 September 2005
    I actually like this movie, But the guy who played Carlito wasn't bad, but i think he didn't really hit the character so well. I think the guy who starred in 'Shaving Points' would've been perfect. Diddy's performance was good also , a big surprise, looking forward to future movies with him. There is also a lot of nudity in this movie...the sex scene was good also.. If you watch this try not to think too much of the original movie, just like many other comments suggested...In my honest opinion my favorite character in this movie was Reggie, one really messed up dude, with a rotten and spoiled attitude. Simply a person who frankly doesn't give a damn. I think they should've named this move Carlito's Way : Kings of Smack
  • XDiamondsGlow17 October 2006
    I really loved this movie and it was way better then the last one.

    I really liked how they had Chuck Zito in this one, he was in the last one as well but was not really shown where with this one they showed him a lot.

    I like how this one played out way better then the first one and Carlito was way hotter then the last guy.

    I do not really like how they put Sean Combs in it because to me he has no talent and not to mention I do not even remember any blacks being in the first one so it made no sense to put them in this one.

    I would have to say if this movie did not have Sean Combs in it I would give it a 10 instead of an 8.
  • I haven't read the book nor watched the original Carlito's Way... all I know about the latter is who stars and who directs that one, and I know even less than that about the novels. Perhaps that's why this didn't come off as being as awful as people seem to feel it was... no basis for comparison. The story isn't poor, and it's decently enough told. The plot develops throughout, with some surprises. The acting varies. The lead could be better. Combs, eh, I don't know. Young isn't bad, but hey, is he ever? The pacing is fine. The music is fair. Editing could be better, but it's not terrible. Effects and such do reveal a budget, one that wasn't the biggest, but it's not as obvious as it could be. There is hardly any action, and it's certainly not worth watching this for. There could be more tension, where such is attempted built. Language is... loose, and there's violence, sexuality and drug use as well... this is hardly a film for children. The voice-overs leave a lot to be desired. All in all, you could find movies that deliver considerably less. Be aware that this is more of a gangster feature than an action flick. I recommend this to people who enjoy cinema(or, in this case, direct-to-video releases) regarding the environment. 5/10
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