Despite its starring rapper LL Cool J, old-style gangsters and not original gangstas figure prominently in OUT OF SYNC, a traditional noir narrative produced by Black Entertainment Television.
Jason "The Saint" Julian (LL Cool J) was the hottest club DJ in LA before he spent some time in jail and went through alcohol rehab. Bad luck still seems to follow him and he now owes a very angry bookie $30,000. An LAPD detective, Caldwell (Howard Hesseman), coerces Julian to become a police
informant and go to work in a dance club owned by drug dealer Danny Simon (Ramy Zada). Julian quickly gets caught up in a dangerous affair with Simon's girlfriend Monica (Victoria Dillard), who enlists his help in her plot to rob Simon. Julian steals $500,000 of Simon's drug money, but Monica
double-crosses him and absconds with the loot. Caldwell gives Julian a chance to track Monica down and retrieve the money, but while doing that he must also elude Simon's thugs. When Julian gets the money, Caldwell, who it turns out is on Simon's payroll, tries to steal it. But Julian is no fool,
and he has set a trap. In the end, Simon is killed, Caldwell is arrested, and The Saint prepares to begin a new life far away.
OUT OF SYNC is by no means an exceptionally good movie, but it does not lay claims to being one either. Shot in under a month for about $1.5 million by a novice director with a cast of no "major talent," it probably should have been as disappointing as most direct-to-video films are, and no one
would have needed to apologize. But the film owes a lot to Robert E. Dorn's script, which manages to incorporate all the plot elements of classic 1940s noir films. Actress-choreographer and TV sitcom director Debbie Allen's first feature competently tells the story, although it lacks the sense of
style that is required for the genre. LL Cool J tries for Bogie-like nonchalance in his performance, but comes through as too sedate and often half-asleep.
For the trivia buffs: director Allen appears in one scene as a manicurist, and her husband, former NBA star Norm Nixon, gets hustled by Cool J in a hoops scene; the film's producer, Tim Reid, plays the silent partner of his former "WKRP in Cincinnati" costar Hesseman. Also, the friendship that
developed between Allen and Cool J during the making of this film led them to costar in the sitcom "In the House." (Profanity, violence, nudity, sexual situations.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: R
- Review: Despite its starring rapper LL Cool J, old-style gangsters and not original gangstas figure prominently in OUT OF SYNC, a traditional noir narrative produced by Black Entertainment Television. Jason "The Saint" Julian (LL Cool J) was the hottest club DJ i… (more)