My latest journey in to the depths of the IMDB.com bottom one hundred is 2007’s Feel The Noise, ranked at number eighty and yet another star vehicle picture. This time it is the turn of Omarion, former lead singer of the early 2000’s R&B group B2K. Portraying Rob, a struggling Harlem rapper who becomes an enemy of the local king pin, he is then forced by his mother to go and stay with his estranged Hispanic father in sunny Puerto Rico. Yes, that’s right, this is The Fresh Prince Of Puerto Rico.
It is in Puerto Rico that the majority of the film is set, where Rob finds a common musical interest with his step-brother Javi and within minutes the two amateurs are producing reggaeton that Don Omar himself would be proud of. Normally I would have a problem with the unrealistically quick progression of this plot point, but Omarion’s painfully wooden acting combined with my complete lack of interest in the story meant that this fast moving action was more than welcome. The plot unfolds in the most unimaginative and cliched way possible, complete with the big break record deal, combative producers, the stereotypical love interest and the always anti-climactic showdown with the film’s villains. It is the kind of picture that you will be almost certain that you have seen before, trust me, you haven’t, it is just that you have seen every single aspect of it depicted in about one hundred other films. The lack of originality is just plain lazy, somebody got paid to write this script guys, with actual money.
The majority of the supporting cast are decent enough, particularly Victor Rasuk as Javi who tried his best to be engaging, but unfortunately for him all of his scenes consist of conversations with Omarion’s Rob, and therefore become almost unwatchable by default. Zulay Henao as love interest ‘CC’ is pretty enough and inoffensive enough to play her uninspired part without much fault, and the array of Hispanic and American ‘gangsters’ that we are introduced to are so cliched that they are really not worth talking about in detail.
The one aspect of Feel The Noise that makes it watchable in the smallest of senses is its heavy focus on and use of reggaeton music, of which, thankfully, I happen to be a fan. There are a number of extended club scenes in which the music is loud and the dialogue is minimal, and this is when the film goes from being awful to just plain bad, a feat that in the micro-environment of the picture’s eighty six minutes is pure, pure heaven. Great pains are also made by the filmmakers to let the audience know that Jennifer Lopez is the picture’s executive producer, including a brief cameo with then husband Marc Anthony in the final moments. This is the second time that I have come across Ms. Lopez in some capacity on my Second Chance Saloon travels, having only a few weeks ago had to endure the truly repugnant Gigli of which she was the star. This acting/producing double disaster proves that she can do wrong both in front of the camera and behind it. Stop it J. Lo, just stop it. Sing some songs instead, you are actually really good at that.
So, where does Feel The Noise rank among the other star vehicles that I have had to endure over the past few months? It is nowhere near as unassuming or as fun to watch as From Justin To Kelly, but the film’s music is a partial saving grace and is infinitely more enjoyable to listen to than Mariah Carey’s weak offerings in Glitter. So that’s a solid middle, which I am pretty sure is the best praise that the film has ever, and will ever, been given.