Bow Wow in 'Lottery Ticket'

Employing a scatter-shot approach has its benefits. The genial yet thin moral comedy Lottery Ticket takes aim at so many targets, from such a low angle, that it's bound to score a few hits. Indeed, two or three set-ups and/or pay-offs deliver big laughs, and the atmosphere is friendly and convivial. Too often, however, Lottery Ticket relies on overly-roasted chestnuts and stale Sunday school lessons, with an occasional "naughty" moment scattered in for good measure. Your chance of enjoying the film in its entirety, therefore, is about 185 million to 1.

Those are the odds given in the movie for buying the winning lottery ticket in a drawing to give away $370 million. Everyone in the Fairmont Fillmore * neighborhood is excited and lines up at the local convenience store for their chance to be an instant millionaire, but industrious high school senior Kevin Carson (Bow Wow) knows better. The lottery is a game 'designed to give false hope to poor people,' he scoffs, as he heads to the mall for his job at Foot Locker.

Kevin owns dozens of carefully-tended sneakers and dreams of owning his own shoe design company one day. He's a good kid who looks after his loving grandmother (Loretta Devine), enjoys the loyalty of his best friend Benny (Brandon T. Jackson), is respectful and polite to all his neighbors, and even runs errands for old Mr. Washington (Ice Cube), a recluse who hasn't emerged from his basement apartment in many years. Kevin is frustrated, though, that he can't see a way clear to attend college, like his comely, platonic friend Stacie (Naturi Naughton). When will his dreams come true?