Review

Feel the Noise Review

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Oct 06, 2007 | 7:02am EDT

You don’t need to have seen 8 Mile and Get Rich or Die Tryin' to know how Rob (Omarion) plans to escape a possible life of crime in the South Bronx. Yes he wants to make like Enimem and 50 Cent. Only Rob decides to steals some pricey rims so he can russle up the fee to enter a rap contest. Too bad Rob targets the car belonging to local gangster Electric (The Fuguees’ Pras). So a fearful Rob flees to Puerto Rico to hide out with the musician father (Giancarlo Esposito) he’s not seen since his diaper days. But you’re crazy if you think Rob wants some father-and-son face time. He’s far more interested in smoking dope with stepbrother Javi (Victor Rasuk) and checking out the island’s vibrant Reggaeton scene. Rob digs the fusion of reggae and hip hop so much that he ends up jamming with Javi. And their demo soon falls into the hands of an American record executive Jeffrey (James McCaffrey) thanks to Rob’s new crush dance instructor C.C. (Zulay Henao). So Rob and Javi—along with C.C.—head to New York hoping to make their bling-filled dreams come. Only Electric’s waiting for Rob … Someone get B2K back together quickly. As a solo act  Omarion’s got no game. He strolls through Feel the Noise with a permanent scowl on his face. Perhaps this is his way of making Rob seem all street. Unfortunately he looks like he's suffering from brain freeze as a result of eating one too many piraguas. And as a rapper his rhymes are weak and his delivery colorless. As the levelheaded Javi the charming Victor Rasuk brings much personality to a role that requires him to be DJ Jazzy Jeff to Omarion’s Fresh Prince. Henao looks good on the dancefloor but nowhere else. A graceful Giancarlo Esposito adds a touch of class to the predictable proceedings though Feel the Noise wastes his time and talent. He’s denied any opportunity to convince us that all will be right between the gulit-ridden father and his estranged son. Maybe it’s because Feel the Noise seems more intrigued by James McCaffrey’s silver-tongued record executive’s courting of C.C.. As hard as he tries the low-key McCaffrey fails from the start to make his kingmaker anything other than just another music-biz slimeball. So you’re left counting down the minutes until McCaffrey tries to have his wicked way with C.C. Come on Feel the Noise? Director Alejandro Chomski certainly doesn’t. He brings no flair or imagination to the countless dance scenes set inside Puerto Rico’s hippest nightclubs. Instead he just drools over the scantilty clad hotties who bump and grind to Reggaeton’s lavicious and infectious Latin beats. Maybe Chomski didn’t bothered to watch Step Up Stomp the Yard or You Got Served to see how he could distinguish Feel the Noise from these other dance-fever fantasies. Even the musical performances—be they rap or Reggaeton—lack vitality. Really you’d expect former Fly Girl Jennifer Lopez to demand more from Chomski and his choreographers. Then again it’s hard to tell how much time and energy Lopez devoted to Feel the Noise. It clearly affords her a chance to pay tribute to her Puerto Rican roots. Too bad you never come away from any sense of what life is like in Puerto Rico even as seen through the eyes of an American. Maybe Feel the Noise could have been more compelling had it focused somewhat on Rob’s relationship with his father but there’s surprisingly very little in the way of bonding between father and son. Guess it’s more important to get your Reggaeton on than it is to get to know your family.

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