Trouble has a way of finding some people. No matter how hard they try, enemies, haters, bums and fools get in the way of them living the Good Life. In the movie “Second Chance” Cornel Evans is such a person. He’s just a dude—a recovering criminal—trying to go straight, but eventually gets pulled back into the Life.
“Second Chance” premiered World Wide at the Angelika Film Center & Cafe in Fairfax, VA, Saturday, February 20th, to a packed, sit-on-the-floor-if-you-came-late theater. This fantastic film is based on the book “The Biography Of a Mental Muscle” by Cornel Evans. It is so well done and performed, you can hear the coins this film is going to make. Director Randall Lawrence, who also wrote the screenplay (and who also had roles in “Jamesy Boy” with Ving Rhames and “The Wire”), has a hit on his hands.
Cornel was expertly played by local favorite Pry’ce Jaymes. Jaymes had many touching scenes with the outstanding Simone Walker as his mom, who does everything she can to keep her son out of the Life. (Watch part of one of their scenes here.) Local actor W. Keith Scott had a wonderful scene with Jaymes as his estranged Dad, who had left his mother years ago. Michael Wright of “The Five Heartbeats” fame had a fantastic scene where he reveals to his nephew, Detective Jackson, played by Lawrence, (who is still dealing with the psychological consequences of a controversial shooting he was involved in) that his mom had committed suicide years earlier, due to being bi-polar. It seems Detective Jackson may be bi-polar too. Wright gave an excellent performance as always.
Adiyb Muhammad burns the screen with his portrayal as D.C. Mayor Anthony Jackson, who has an illegal real estate scheme up his sleeve to line his own pockets with. There were strong and at times comical scenes between Muhammad and Faheem Saadiq Abdus-Salaam, who played Freddie, the long-suffering D.C. Police Chief. The two go back and forth over city budget money, like two bald men fighting over a comb. Watch a scene featuring Muhammad from the movie here.
Baltimore, Maryland’s own Lyon Beckwith has a nice cameo in a scene with Jaymes down in Miami. Another DMV favorite, Lamont Easter, gave a good performance as a Congressman. Easter has been recently seen on Netfilix’s “House of Cards.” Belinda Fadlelmona gave a good turn as Detective Jackson’s shrink. The screen smoked with electric chemistry when Jaymes and love interest Angie (Alwilda Lopez) met up after a long time apart. Angie it turns out, wants no part of Cornel’s criminal lifestyle for her or her son. Watch their scene here.
More than just a cops and robbers yawn, “Second Chance” is a tale of urban angst that touches on issues like the effect of a life of crime, the lure of fast money, lost love, parent-child issues and gentrification. This wonderful piece of cinema features many powerful scenes that touch on the human condition. It’s thought provoking, bold and powerful. Don’t miss out on this excellent film. There are more premieres in DC, Atlanta and New York City coming up. Don’t miss your chance to see “Second Chance”.