Busta Rhymes Carries Low-Rent Breaking Point


Breaking Point
Directed by Jeff Celentano
Cinema Epoch
Opens December 4

You'd figure by this point in cinematic history that there'd already be a low-rent crime thriller starring Tom Berenger and Armand Assante titled Breaking Point. But, no, that honor goes to this anonymously gritty New York drama about Steven Luisi (Berenger), a disgraced former assistant district attorney and recovering addict seeking redemption by defending an accused murderer. Luisi's path to clearing his client's name leads him to a dangerous thug (rapper Busta Rhymes) and the crime's sole witness (Kirk "Sticky Fingaz" Jones), who is also the thug's onetime henchman and latest target. Corrupt public officials, ghetto kids dreaming of a better life, a flawed hero with a dead daughter on his conscience—there isn't any cliché that writer Vincent Campanella and director Jeff Celentano don't treat with stoic reverence. From one perspective, you could say that Breaking Point never steps wrong since its every movement is perfectly (almost comfortingly) predictable. But between Assante's tough-guy A.D.A. with something to hide and Berenger's squinty-eyed inner torment, Breaking Point is so dry you may wish it had the good sense to be a campy hoot. The one bright spot is Busta's convincingly scummy performance—all of 50 Cent's future gangster roles should be reassigned to Rhymes.

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