In 1991 John Singleton burst onto the scene with one of the best directorial debuts ever. In his very first movie John Singleton hit a homerun with Boyz n the Hood. Boyz n the Hood was so good that it pretty much launched the careers of Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne and rapper turned actor Ice Cube.
The debut of Ice Cube was especially impressive. Who knew that rappers could act? John Singleton might have been the first to cast a rapper in his movie and might have even started the trend, although Will Smith’s success in Fresh Prince at the time probably also helped.
I loved Boyz N the Hood, especially Ice Cube’s performance, but John Singleton has gotten carried away with the musician-turned-actors. In 1993 John Singleton directed Poetic Justice and cast Janet Jackson and Tupac Shukar in the lead roles. Poetic Justice got some mixed reviews, but more of them leaned towards the negative side.
In his next movie John Singleton cast Ice Cube again in Higher Learning. A while back I wrote an article ranking all of Jennifer Connelly’s movies and Higher Learning was last by a wide margin. How can you make a movie with Jennifer Connelly and fail to make it good? It’s not possible.
John Singleton later made Shaft, with Busta Rhymes playing a major role, then Baby Boy and 2 Fast 2 Furious starring Tyrese Gibson. All three movies continued two trends. 1. They featured musicians trying to act. 2. They stunk.
John Singleton’s next movie, Four Brothers, was actually pretty good. Tyrese was once again cast and he was once again pretty mediocre. Another musician-turned-actor, Andre Benjamin, was pretty good though. I guess the saying that even a blind squirrel catches a nut is true. So far John Singleton’s blind journey as a director has accumulated only two good performances by musicians.
I was disappointed by John Singleton’s decline in quality because like I said, Boyz N the Hood was a great movie. But for the most part I didn’t mind a great deal because John Singleton doesn’t make the type of movies I have an interest in seeing, and maybe that’s the only reason I don’t like his movies. But now John Singleton must be stopped because now John Singleton is bringing his musician love affair to moves I do care about.
The first movie John Singleton is making that I care about is the A-Team. I was born in 1980 so I was raised on 80’s television shows and the A-Team is one of my all-time favorites. B. A. Baracus, played by Mr. T, was practically my hero when I was five years old. I even begged my Mom for a Mr. T figure one Christmas (it was later melted in the oven by my brothers, but that is a story for another time).
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the rumor is John Singleton is going to cast Ice Cube as B. A Baracus since he seems to be one of Singleton’s favorites. That would be a horrible casting decision. No offense to Ice Cube, because he is the one rapper-turned-musician other than Will Smith that I like, but Ice Cube is no B. A. Baracus. In fact, nobody except Mr. T is B. A. Bracus. If John Singleton can’t get Mr. T to reprise his role as B. A., then don’t bother making the movie.
The second movie that John Singleton is directing that I care about is Luke Cage. Luke Cage is another comic book adaptation and I happen to be a fan of the character. John Singleton wants to cast his other favorite, Tyrese, as Luke Cage. This is totally wrong. It’s bad enough that Tyrese isn’t a good actor but he just doesn’t fit the part of Luke Cage. Luke Cage is a huge powerhouse, super strength character. Tyrese certainly isn’t scrawny or anything, he’s more fit then I will ever be, but he’s just not big enough to be the man dubbed as “Power Man.”
What’s up with the fascination with musicians John Singleton? Do you have to cast them in everything? Maybe great actors are hard to come by, but I’m still pretty sure you can find more great actors in the actor pool than in the musician pool. What movie that I’m looking forward to are you going to ruin next?