NEVER DIE ALONE: Satisfyingly predictable.
Never Die Alone

dir. Dickerson

Opens Fri March 26

Various Theaters

Not to sound like a broken record, but Hollywood is fucking racist. Never Die Alone, based on a Donald Goines novel by the same name, is a slick noir featuring all the good stuff: sex, violence, drugs, and cool cars. It's an updated version of the old (white) gangster movies, this time glamorizing the (black) gangsta lifestyle.

The film does, however, contain two white characters. One is an aimless journalist (David Arquette) who slums around in the ghetto for material, and winds up ensnared in the stabbing death of a pimpin' gangsta motherfucker (a mighty fine DMX). The other is a drugged-out TV actress who does a stint as DMX's girlfriend. Not only is white girl the only woman DMX puts his penis in who doesn't end up choking on her own vomit, but super-dork Arquette resolves the plot as it were, breaking the cycle of violence that the black folks just can't seem to pull themselves out of.

There is one scene--seemingly disembodied from the rest of the film--in which Arquette is dumped by his nice black girlfriend, who leaves him with a question: Is she simply part of his experimental racial immersion? His only answer is a shlumpy, guilty smirk. She also should've asked him, "How come we don't have any hot sex scenes and DMX gets to plow the blonde?" Or, "How come I'm the only black character who isn't crooked, abused, and/or on drugs?"

Even the film's sullen black "hero," played by the yummy Michael Ealy, (shower scene alert!!) has blue eyes--how symbolic.

All shrillness aside, as entertainment Never Die Alone is a fine, pulpy film. DMX is cool as hell, and his character is ridiculously, seductively heartless. Like comic book templates, the characters enthusiastically conform to their satisfyingly predictable roles as gun-toting strong arms, bartending informants, sinister gangsta bosses with fawning mistresses on both arms, etc. The plot is thrilling (although it leaves you with the feeling that human beings are entirely bereft of hope) and too juicy not to watch. It's just a grand ol' racist time for everyone!