The Players Club

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The Players Club

It's fairly easy to see why Ice Cube would want to direct as well as write and act in his latest film The Players Club. After having conquered the world of rap and co-written as well as starred in the 1995 sleeper Friday, directing seems like a natural progression for a man of his ambition. What is significantly harder to understand, however, is why Cube apparently wishes to become the black Ed Wood. The spirit of the the man considered the worst director of all time hangs heavy over Cube's latest film: By the time, relatively late in The Players Club, the evil lesbian stripper in the blonde wig is getting her ass viciously beaten by the good, moral stripper—in what feels like a three-and-a-half-hour catfight—it's difficult to conceive of The Players Club as anything other than a hip-hop, '90s version of such Wood works as the anti-porn epic The Sinister Urge. The thin plot concerns the plight of a gorgeous, broke teen (Lisa Raye) who takes up stripping in a sleazy club to support her infant daughter. All goes well until four years later, when Raye's teenage niece starts stripping at the club as well. Raye tries to protect her but soon falls under the spell of the aforementioned scary lesbian strippers, as well as a bevy of creepy men, most of whom seem to be biding their time until they can commit depraved acts of sexual violence. Also thrown in is an incomprehensible, pointless subplot involving the sleazy owner of the club (Bernie Mac) and his tangles with the mob. Simply put, The Players Club is a horrible, horrible film, and it's not horrible in a campy, entertaining way, either: It's horrible in a depressing, amateurish, third-rate-early-'70s-blaxploitation way. Sleazy, exploitative, cheap, and nonsensical, The Players Club is an unwatchable waste of time.

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