When "Walk the Line" first came out, I asked a friend of mine who had seen it if you had to be a Johnny Cash fan to like it. He didn't think so and said it was just an overall good movie. It made sense to me. I wasn't a Loretta Lynn fan yet I liked "Coal Miner's Daughter". So when "Idlewild" came out I wondered if the same would be true for it. Would you have to be an Outkast fan to enjoy it?
Personally, I think Outkast's entire career was leading up to this very moment. They came from obscurity gathering a bigger and bigger fanbase with the release of each next cd. The cds themselves started to get more theatrical. Then they began playing bit parts in movies. This was the natural evolution.
This flick is billed as a hip-hop musical. I can almost see that. At the very least, I can appreciate them propping it as such to attract a more diverse audience. However, to me, it played more like a two-hour Outkast music video. And I don't say that like it's a bad thing. The way it was shot, the storyline, the songs...it just had the feel like you were watching one of their extended videos.
It was chock full of headline actors in typecast roles. Terence Howard as a villain, Ving Rhames as an intimidator, Faizon Love as a smart-azz. And all of it worked. Why not play up to an actor's strengths? Even Andre and Big Boi themselves did an extremely good job in their starring parts.
So do you have to be an Outkast fan to appreciate it? It's hard for me to say because I've liked their work from day one. I enjoyed seeing them pull something like this off with such brilliance that it looks like they've been making movies for quite a while. If you're a fan of well-made movies, I'm thinking this one won't disappoint. Speaking for myself, I can't wait until the dvd hits stores so I can add it to the collection.
My rating: A-