As blatant vehicles for rising rappers go, "Talento de barrio" won't do much to help Puerto Rican hip-hopper Daddy Yankee, playing a gang leader who finds cutting records a little more promising than offing rivals in the projects near San Juan.

As blatant vehicles for rising rappers go, “Talento de barrio” won’t do much to help Puerto Rican hip-hopper Daddy Yankee, playing a gang leader who finds cutting records a little more promising than offing rivals in the projects near San Juan. The film also hardly serves as a decent calling card for future PR film production, with its shoddy direction, editing, low-grade casting and general messiness–which shouldn’t be confused with urban realism. This reps a lousy catch for fledgling Latino-oriented distrib Maya Releasing, which will get some returns only upon late November vid release.

Edgar (Yankee) leads his gang with a solid hand while dabbling in rap-lyric writing. Trouble creeps in with the appearance of ex-con Jaico (Angel “Maestro” Rodriguez), who at first plays the loyal servant under Edgar and then, as Edgar decides to retire from the street for a music career, begins to take vicious control. Torn between a peaceful life with g.f. Zori (Katiria Soto) and revenge, Edgar does what any self-respecting hero in an urban street drama would do, and packs heat for the final faceoff.

Talento de barrio

Puerto Rico

Production

A Maya Releasing (in U.S.) release. Produced by George Rivera. Executive producers, Daddy Yankee, Edwin Prado, Rivera. Co-producer, Angel Sanjurjo. Directed by Jose Ivan Santiago, George Rivera. Screenplay, Rivera, Angel Sanjurjo.

Crew

Camera (color), Leslie J. Colombani Jr.; editor, Mariem Perez; music, Samuel Lopez; production designer, Pascual Febus. Reviewed on DVD, Los Angeles, Oct. 9, 2008. Spanish, English dialogue. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 106 MIN.

With

Daddy Yankee, Angel "Maestro" Rodriguez, Cesar "TNT" Farrait, Katiria Soto, Angelica Alcaide, Norma Colon, Norman Santiago, Rafael Acevedo, Eddie Dee.
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