Bruce Fretts
January 24, 1997 AT 05:00 AM EST

Don’t be suckered by the box art, which puts Shakur’s face above Rourke’s: As a one-eyed gangsta, the murdered rapper appears in just a few scenes of this direct-to-video oddity. Most of the dismal urban drama deals with the dysfunctional lives of Rourke’s Butch ”Bullet” Stein, a bandanna-wearing ex-con, and his brothers, a struggling artist (Nothing to Lose‘s Adrian Brody) and a wacko Vietnam vet (The Silence of the Lambs‘ Ted Levine). Rourke, mumbling even more than usual, gets outacted by boxer Ray ”Boom Boom” Mancini (as a cop) and ex-New Kid on the Block Donnie Wahlberg (as a thug named Big Balls). Despite slick direction from Julien Temple (Absolute Beginners), Bullet explodes into life only when Shakur is on screen.

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