Picks and Pans Review: I Got the Hook-Up

updated 06/08/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/08/1998 01:00AM

Master P, A.J. Johnson

If, after seeing Warren Beatty deliver bad, middle-aged white-guy rap and scramble about wearing oversized, baggy shorts and a knit watch cap in Bulworth, you long to see the genuine article, check out I Got the Hook-Up. An urban comedy (the current film-industry euphemism for shot-on-the-cheap movies featuring African-American performers and aimed mostly at black teenage and young-adult audiences), Hook-Up is a raucous, raunchy film that is far longer on enthusiasm than accomplishment.

Master P (whose real name is Percy Miller), a popular rapper offscreen whose latest hit CD is Ghetto D and who founded No Limit Records, produced, cowrote and stars in Hook-Up. He portrays an L.A. street entrepreneur who, along with his partner (Johnson, a stand-up comic), tries to parlay the fortuitous misdelivery of several boxes of cellular phones into a business empire. Conflict ensues with a big cellphone company, the FBI and neighborhood characters. Although occasionally broadly amusing, Hook-Up makes little sense, is choppily edited, and the language is blue enough to have made even Moms Mabley blush. (R)

Bottom Line: The only gold here is on Master P's upper front teeth

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