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Set Up

It's not like you needed the money, Bruce Willis. Is it?

Rod Lott September 7th, 2011

Initially, "Set Up" sets itself up as a B version of Ben Affleck's "The Town": A few longtime friends — one of whom has a pop in prison — don masks and automatic weapons to pull off a daring daylight robbery. It quickly takes its own path as Vince (Ryan Phillippe, "The Lincoln Lawyer") double-crosses his pals, shooting them so he can make off with the diamonds.


That path, however, isn't one of originality, intelligence or viewer investment.

The bullet doesn't kill Sonny (Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, "Righteous Kill") because the cross around his neck deflects it (symbolism!), leaving him alive, well and ready to exact revenge. His hunt involves him with a mob boss (Bruce Willis, but why?!?), the mob muscle (Randy Couture, "The Expendables") and Vince's inside man, er, woman (Jenna Dewan-Tatum, "Step Up").

It's predictable, tiresome and lazily written by director Mike Gunther, a stunt coordinator. Everything is "fuck you" and "fuckin'" this and "fuckin'" that to a point of ridiculousness, topped only by the poor taste in the liberal, perfectly needless use of the N-word — and I don't mean the supposedly acceptable "nigga" — from more than one character.

"Set Up" looks slick, but that's all it has going for it. Jackson can't carry the film, and Phillippe is too much of a preening whiner to be believable as a stone-cold tough guy. If this were real life, 50 Cent could take one shot at the guy, and we'd have a decent short. As is, Phillippe is only good for hopping naked with a stalk of celery shoved in his hindquarters. —Rod Lott

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