Release Date: May 12, 2000
Genre: Crime Comedy
Audience: Teenagers & adults
Runtime: 86 minutes
Distributor: Trimark Pictures
Director: Steve Rash
Executive Producer: Kevin De Walt
Producer: Stokely Chaffin & Neal H. Moritz
Writer: Jeff Eastin
Address Comments To:Mark Amin, Chairman
2644 30th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405-3009
Michael (Jamie Foxx) and his fiancée Rae (Nia Long) are traveling near the Grand Canyon for a vacation. Driving through the plains in a ’57 Studebaker (which Michael says he bought for $5,000), the couple stops at the Sip n’ Zip, a convenience store in a tiny town. As Michael puts gas into his car the convenience store clerk, Jack (John Cullum), talks to him through a speaker located near the pump, irritating Michael as a group of cowboys watch. Jack asks him about his car and, within earshot of Rae, Michael confesses to paying $13,000. Rae, upset that Michael lied to her, yells at him and says she is going to fly back to their home in Chicago. While Michael pleads with her not to leave, Rae hops into the truck amidst all of the cowboys and heads to Vegas to catch a plane.
During the commotion, Michael locked his keys into his car. A teenaged boy offers to help him, but says he needs a hanger. Michael goes into the store for a hanger, only to hear his car being driven away. With no car and an irate fiancée, Michael’s day is only beginning. He tries to find a ride to the airport. Jack tells him he can get a ride with a friend’s daughter. Needing to call the airport to find out when Rae’s flight leaves, Michael gets even more upset when Jack cannot make change for his $50 bill. Fortunately, a boy playing arcade games in the store mistakes Michael, who is black, for rap artist Puff Daddy. At first, Michael denies it, but then realizes the boy is loaded with quarters, so he assumes the role of the musician. Awed by his presence, the boy quickly hands over some quarters.
Not long after this, a car pulls up to the Sip n’ Zip. Two men and a woman get out of the car, with Michael mistaking the girl as his ride. However, the men pull out guns and Michael becomes one of a group of hostages being held. One of the robbers, Rodrigo, is obviously an amateur, and the antics of the robbery begin to pile up. Soon TV reporters and the town’s "law enforcement assistance" (anybody with a gun) invade the scene. The Sheriff tells the reporters Michael’s name (his last name is Dawson), but it is unintelligible. Thus, in another case of mistaken identity, reports that Mike Tyson is being held hostage begin to surface.
HELD UP, though often a silly, lewd crime/comedy, treats racial differences with a refreshing tone. Jamie Foxx and John Cullum do well together, with the animosity between them bringing many laughs to the audience. Nia Long gives a mediocre performance, and her character could have been written and portrayed as having a bit more class. There is a mixture of other characters, including a deep, know-all biker named Clarence, a woman named Mary who knows her boyfriend is cheating on her and the town’s Sheriff Pembry, who leads the rescue operation by an FBI handbook.
While other movies have pushed racial stereotypes, HELD UP held its own in this department, treating an unlikely meeting of a variety of races and personalities with lightheartedness and comedy. Regrettably, foul language and sexual references take a lot away from the story, leaving weak spots of off-color "humor." Despite the laughs, this movie’s PG-13 rating has unsuitable content.
While other movies have pushed racial stereotypes, HELD UP held its own in this department, treating an unlikely meeting of a variety of races and personalities with lightheartedness and comedy. Regrettably, foul language and sexual references take a lot away from the story, leaving weak spots of off-color "humor." Despite the laughs, this movie’s PG-13 rating has unsuitable content