August 20, 2010 at 1:00 am

Tom Long Film Review: 'Lottery Ticket' -- GRADE: C+

Review: 'Lottery Ticket' offers unlikely ride, a few laughs

Over a long weekend, Bow Wow dodges a neighborhood of hangers-on trying to get a piece of his lottery winnings. (Warner Bros.)

'Lottery Ticket" is not a big winner.

Let's call it four out of six numbers, with no power bonus. Some payoff, but don't quit your job.

Bow Wow -- don't you hope this guy wins an Oscar someday just to hear that name called out? -- stars as Kevin Carson, a good kid living in the projects who doesn't play the lottery like everybody else in his neighborhood. Except one day he does, using the numbers he's gotten in a fortune cookie.

And he wins. Hundreds of millions of dollars.

Except he doesn't realize he's won until the Friday before a long weekend. He can't cash in until Tuesday. This would be fine, except his ebullient grandmother (Loretta Devine) blabs the news to the local gossip. And soon everyone knows Kevin has a piece of paper worth a fortune.

Which means thugs, crime lords, hangers-on, pretty women -- they all want a piece of Kevin. He even begins to question his longtime best friend, Benny (Detroit's own Brandon T. Jackson).

Essentially, Kevin's on the run with nowhere to run.

And that's the movie's biggest problem: The guy is worth a fortune, why doesn't he just rent himself a nice motel room and stay low until Tuesday? It makes no sense.

Yeah, but it's not supposed to; it's supposed to offer up laughs and some good moral lessons.

There's a lot of talent here. Both Bow Wow (Mr. Wow?) and Jackson are screen naturals and the film is filled with vets like Keith David, Flint native Terry Crews and Mike Epps, not to mention producer Ice Cube playing a hermit boxer.

Still, it's a stretch.

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