Held Up

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

Comic Jamie Fox stars in this comedy about a guy named Michael, stuck in a convenience store in a small, Arizona desert town for one very long day. His girlfriend Rae (Nia Long) leaves him there with his newly bought, old car after an argument. Michael's car is stolen, and a gang of migrant Mexicans holds up the store, taking everyone inside hostage. The local sheriff (Barry Corbin) rides up in a cloud of dust with his men, but without a clue how to handle the situation. In their "keystone kops" style, the sheriff finally opens a manual and reads from it word for word, over a bullhorn, to the gang leader. Instead of tear gas, they release a skunk in the storeroom, which is probably the most effective action taken. Excitement builds as the locals hear about the situation, and a crowd gathers, with folding chairs, to watch the crime scene activities. Eventually, Michael and the other hostages begin to bond with their captors. It's so silly, it's funny. Young teenagers especially will like HELD UP.

Even though the combined I.Q. of all the characters can't be very high, there's no excuse for crude bathroom humor and 17 obscenities in a movie aimed at young audiences. In the opening scene, Rae begs Michael to find a restroom for her. That's not easy to do in the desert and he becomes upset that she might soil his car. Some other humor centers around a couple shouting in public about their bedroom habits and birth control. One of the store customers comes in as a shy young woman but, as she and the gang leader begin to fall for each other, becomes very seductive. An explosive exchange of gunfire between the dim-witted sheriff and the gang doesn't result in anyone hit, but the convenience store eventually collapses from all the missed shots. Michael is injured when a microwave oven explodes and a corn chip lodges deep in his cheek, causing some bleeding. HELD UP would have been funnier without numerous objectionable words. Crude humor and foul language should hold down parents' approval of HELD UP.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
TriMark Pictures, 2644 30th St., Santa Monica, CA 90405

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (27) times - Mild 15, moderate 12

Obscene Language: Many (17) times - S-word 14, other 3

Profanity: Several (5) times - Regular 2 (J, GD), exclamatory 3 (OMG)

Violence: Several times Moderate (slapstick, bumbling cops and robbers mostly threaten with guns; some gunfire; man's face cut when microwave oven explodes)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Shy young woman turns seductive, comments made about condoms, hygiene products; men make suggestive remarks about breasts

Drugs: Few times (men offer woman chewing tobacco, woman drinks liquor in bar)

Other: Crude bathroom humor

Running Time: 91 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and young adults

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