From films like Dead Presidents (1995), Jason’s Lyric (1994), Crooklyn (1994), Life (1999), and Caught up (1998) thirty-seven year-old Bokeem Woodbine from Harlem, New York has decided to play in new film Produced by M. Night Shyamalan entitled Devil. With this new film, Woodbine takes into the wonderful world of horror and outside of his usual bad-guy role…or is it?
Bokeem stars as Cleon in the action/drama film Dead Presidents alongside Lorenz Tate as Anthony Curtis and Chris Tucker as Skip who was a heartless marine turned into a religious minister. He is assigned a bad-guy/good-guy role as he plays as a lookout during the infamous bank robbery yet uses a load of cash to hand out to members of his congregation and buys a Cadillac that most ministers at that time could not afford. Unfortunately he was also known for “snitching” on the rest of the thieves which resulted in either death or imprisonment for his crew/ fellow marines/ friends.
With a total gross of only $6,754,958, Caught Up introduced Bokeem as a character by the name of Daryl who was released from prison for drug charges only to get entwined in a bank robbery. Upon his release about five years later, he runs into a beautiful woman that is too good to be true. The plot includes the usual lies, deceit and treachery however his acting in the film was terrible and almost excruciating to watch. After watching films such as Jason’s Lyric, one has to think maybe it wasn’t his fault at all and could’ve been as a result of poor scriptwriting and misdirection.
Perhaps the most memorable movie he has starred in was Life (Nominated for one Oscar Award) and in this film Bokeem played as Can’t-Get-Right. Ironically the film in which he has no lines (due to his character being a mute) is one of the most successful films in his career. His acting skills shine through as audiences view his talents and Woodbine is able to communicate without words. He’s no Tom Hanks from Cast Away but he does a great job of playing the greatest baseball player at Camp 8 alongside Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy.
So the question remains, after his tough guy acts in the over ten years old film Jason’s Lyric, some low grossing films such as The Runner (1999) and A Day in the Life (2009) directed and produced by Kirk “Sticky Fingaz” Jones, viewers have to wonder “who is this guy’s agent because he needs to be fired?!” And will this film finally illuminate the talents of this actor who seems to need some spotlight shed on his long and dull career? And will he once again be portrayed as the dim-witted tough-luck bad-guy, the depressed and hopeless ex-con, or the Devil?
Available in theaters September 17 2010, Devil will be released in local Miami AMC theaters courtesy of Universal Pictures.