In the Mix Review

Nov 23, 2005 | 3:55am EST

Darrell (Usher) is a hot shot deejay in New York. Everything changes for him however when he saves Frank (Chazz Palminteri) a Mafia don and close family friend from a mob hit. When Darrell proves himself reliable he’s hired to protect Frank’s daughter Dolly (Emmanuelle Chriqui). She resents her new “babysitter” and makes Darrell’s life difficult in a series of lighthearted events but it’s clear the two have an unspoken attraction for one another. They eventually indulge and are forced to deal with the repercussions of their different backgrounds. Meanwhile Frank is dealing with the backlash of his hit and those who still want him dead. As actors your role is to do what’s on the page. In the case of In The Mix this is an unfortunate scenario. The script features cliché characters in cliché settings repeating cliché lines. That said Usher actually shows potential. His role doesn’t demand much but his delivery seems natural enough. Chriqui (HBO’s Entourage) gives an equally appropriate performance as a mob princess. What isn’t on the page these two make up for in on-screen chemistry. It’s not difficult to buy into their attraction--despite their differences. Veteran actor Palminteri doesn’t disappoint either. Known for playing Mafia roles he plays this one with heart. Director Ron Underwood (The Adventures of Pluto Nash) captures what every fan of the pop crooner-turned-actor hopes for: Usher’s signature abs Usher in a fierce kissing scene and even Usher attempting yoga. Hard to criticize a director faced with the dilemma of a ticking production schedule and script that still needs to be re-written. But Underwood can be rest assured that Usher fans will believe he’s Oscar worthy for his inclusion of a sexy pool scene.

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