"Choke! Choke! Choke!"
It is Detroit in 1995 and the film begins with Jimmy Smith Jr., known as Rabbit to his friends, in front of a mirror
practicing his routine which he will fail to perform in front of an audience at a rap battle. He locks up and can not
get a word out; not good for a guy wanting to be a rap singer. The point of this contest on stage, in front of an
audience is for two combattants to face off against each other. They have 45 seconds each to verbally put down or
outwit the other and the audience chooses the winner. Rabbit fails to even say a syllable and is shouted off
"Are you okay baby?"
Even though his friends tell him that he will do it next time, Rabbit retreats home to 8 Mile Road, a trailer park
where he lives with his mother and sister. The mother played by Kim Bassinger has a live in boyfriend who
treats her with disrespect and just out and out detests her Son, Jimmy. Rabbit loves his mother but hates the fact that
she drinks and puts up with the abuse from her boyfriend, Greg. Jimmy puts up with Greg only to be there to protect
his little sister, Lily. Eminem shines when he is dealing with Lily. In those scenes he seems so natural it is
as if he has done this in real life. He may have, but since I know nothing of his real life I can not comment on
"Why do they call you Rabbit?"
The rest of the plot is really fairly simple and not special. The story is all about a young man trying to find his way
through life and hopefully make a success of himself but only on his terms. First he has to find out what his own
terms are and he must get over the personal hurdles he has placed in front of himself. He comes from a place that
basically tells you that you are a failure and will always be one because you are from the wrong side of the tracks.
To succeed in the real world it is crucial that he first succeed on stage. When he finally performs on stage against
the other contestants it becomes his venue for venting out all his frustrations and failures as well as his limited
successess. When he walks away we can feel that he may just perform well in the real world as he did on stage, and he
will do it his way in his own time.
"What are you doing with your life that is so great, Rabbit?"
Jimmy is surrounded with many friends and most of them are African American's which explains most of his ambitions in
music. These are loyal friends who stand by him through thick and thin. It is good to see this type of relationship on
film instead of friends who want you dead or betray you. It is imortant in films, geared to teenagers, that a positive
attitude towards real friendships are cultivated. Rap films seem to have a stigma that is attached to them, one that
shows guns, drugs, betrayal and only fair weather friendships. To see this type of loyal friendships in this film genre
is good and important. if more rap movies did this it would put rap movies in a better light to the general populace of
"I'm gonna battle."
The only thing that I found wrong with the film was it's length. It was stretched out by at least 20 minutes more then
it should have been. It also could have been a, made for television movie, but since it stars a major personality
in the music industry it had to go to the large screen, I guess. So if you are inclined to see this type of film or
want to at least give it a chance then go for it but remember that language and scenes of sexuality make it not
appropriate for young children.