Hey, WB! Here's the pitch - "Dog Day Afternoon"… the sitcom?
Jamie Foxx, star of the aptly titled television program "The Jamie Fox Show", stars as Mike - a guy who, to say the least, is having one hell of a bad day. He has had a tiff with his fiancée (Nia Long) over spending their nest egg on a car and she has left both he and his car in the middle of nowhere at a dustbowl convenience store where his beloved car gets stolen. As if that isn't enough, he manages to get caught up in a botched holdup (hence "Held Up") and taken hostage along with the rest of the store's occupants.
And it only goes down hill from there - mostly for the audience. In this none too clever rehash of the hostage drama "Dog Day Afternoon" the viewer is treated (or rather subjected) to a parade of bad one liners, cliché driven characters and a plot that unfolds with such a muddled pace that it is almost painful waiting for something to happen.
The sophomoric grasps at humor attempt to play on the tired stereotypes of the principals involved - African Americans, Mexicans, bumbling police and "Rednecks" to name but a few. These are all jokes we have heard hundreds of times before and are hardly enough to carry a feature film. While Jamie Foxx (who did a nice turn in Oliver Stone's "Any Given Sunday") is a charismatic and generally very funny guy, he is left for dead here to flail amid a paper thin plot and material that never quite rises to the occasion.
When a film, particularly a comedy, is reliant on a single premise or situation, either the characters or dialogue must be at a level where they generate interest and keep things moving for the viewer. This, unfortunately, is not the case here. All said, "Held Up" is little more than a silly skit gone awry, a disappointing vehicle for Foxx and an hour and a half long hostage ordeal for anyone in the audience.
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