The hip hop group Outkast always delivers fun, happy music, with beats so catchy that your foot can't help but tapping. And that is kind of what I expected in the two members of the groups first movie together, "Idlewild." Instead, it was an overlong period crime drama, which didn't have a story enough to justify it's two hour running time.
The first member of the duo, Andre Benjamin, sometimes billed as Andre 3000, has already dabbled in the acting world, with roles in "Be Cool" and "Four Brothers," and he really isn't too bad, always creating a likeable character in whoever he's playing. I don't know anything about the second member of the duo, Antwan A Patton, sometimes billed as Big Boi. Here, the two of them play friends since childhood, Percival Jenkins and Rooster. In the 1930's the two friends have taken many different paths. Percival is the clean friend, who works with his father as a mortician in the family business. Rooster has taken the path of the gangster and the bootlegger, with ties to some of the biggest mobsters in Idlewild, Georgia. Rooster has a wife and five kids, while Percival is still by himself. However, the two of them may have entire different lives, but at night, the two of them work together in a little club which they call "The Church." Percival plays the piano, something that he had been doing since he was a boy, while Rooster is more of a singer and dancer. Rooster gets involved with a up and coming gangster, Trumpy, to wants to take over the liquer running business. He witnesses Trumpy killing the two biggest mobsters in the town, and suddenly finds himself in charge of the club, and in charge of the club's debt. Meanwhile, Percival finds love with Angell Davenport, a singer who has recently arrived at the club.
"Idlewild" isn't really very much fun as it's advertisements promised. Instead, it's very talky, and not so much a musical as a drama with some music thrown in every now and then. And the trademark music that Outkast is known for isn't really here, as none of the music is very catchy, or memorable, save maybe for the song that plays during the credits. I will give it credit for the set design, which was very detailed, and obviously had alot of care put into it, from the paintings on the wall, to the roaches that run around on the tables sometimes. The films biggest acting breakthrough is probably by newcomer Paula Patton, playing Angell Davanport. Not only is she beautiful, but she actually shows some signs of acting, and considering she only has about three screen credits to her name, that is pretty impressive. And to add to the fact that it's not alot of fun, the final scenes involve a car chase sequence, and a depressing and strange ballad to a dead body. The latter portion was just weird, and uncomfortable to sit through. By the end of "Idlewild," I just wanted to get home, and the two hours just doesn't want to end. It goes on and on, and it's paper thin plot didn't deserve such a long time. There was alot of padding, and alot of it didn't seem necessary. The Outkast duo aren't really the greatest actors in the world. They are likeable enough, but when it comes to the real grit of acting, they really don't have it. Instead of making such a dark and heavy crime drama, it should have been a bit lighter, as neither one of them have the acting skills required for any tearjerker scenes. So, for looks rather than story, I suppose "Idlewild" is the way to go, but I really wouldn't recommend it for that. It's not worth the ticket price or the time.