EMPIRE | EW.com

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EmpireThere's heavy-handed, there's lead-handed, and then there's ''Empire.'' The urban gangster flick earns kudos for an innovative conceit: Street hustler...EmpireMystery and Thriller, DramaPT95MRThere's heavy-handed, there's lead-handed, and then there's ''Empire.'' The urban gangster flick earns kudos for an innovative conceit: Street hustler...2003-03-21Sonia BragaAnthony Treach CrissFat JoeDenise RichardsSonia Braga, Anthony Treach Criss, Fat Joe, Denise RichardsUniversal
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Empire

Genre: Mystery and Thriller, Drama; Starring: John Leguizamo, Isabella Rossellini, Peter Sarsgaard, Sonia Braga, Anthony Treach Criss, Fat Joe, Denise Richards; Director: Franc Reyes; Author: Franc Reyes; Runtime (in minutes): 95; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Universal

There’s heavy-handed, there’s lead-handed, and then there’s ”Empire.” The urban gangster flick earns kudos for an innovative conceit: Street hustler Leguizamo teams with Wall Street slickster Sarsgaard to achieve a common goal – massive wealth. The parallels between their lives and mentalities would be intriguing if Leguizamo’s clunky voice-overs didn’t spell out an anticapitalist message with such a thick marker. The film quickly dissolves into a collection of rote stereotypes and cliches. Oh, and why is a movie starring Fat Joe and Naughty by Nature’s Treach filled with so much cheesy Latin R&B?

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