In this belated prequel to director Brian De Palma's 1993 crime drama, gangster Carlito Brigante (Jay Hernandez) rises through the ranks of the New York underworld to establish himself as Spanish Harlem's most powerful kingpin. As the intoxication of ultimate power tightens its firm grip on the rising heroin czar, he soon learns that greed and deception are the unspoken laws of the street. With no one to trust except for his two brothers in crime, Carlito begins building an empire founded on supplying the city's addicts with the one product that is always in demand. His dreams of ruling the city finally becoming a reality, Carlito soon learns that the only way to sustain his power is through loyalty and respect. Adapted from author Edwin Torres' acclaimed novel, Carlito's Way: Rise to Power also stars Mario Van Peebles, Luis Guzmán, and Sean Combs. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Let us look past the fact that this movie makes people believe that it is a prequel to the original Carlito's Way but instead is a completely different story with the same main character...This fact alone really pissed me off but with that fact out of the way. And if I am wrong about that, someone let me know and I will rent it again and watch it along with Carlito's Way. The movie itself is kind of lame with the characters not being all that interesting and quite frankly weak. Nacho Reyes(Guzman) was the only character I actually enjoyed watching in this movie. In fact, I really didn't like this movie at all and am now wondering why I was originally giving it a 3?? It deserves a 2...I just didn't like it that much. I could go into more detail of why but you are only allowed 1000 characters in these reviews!
I saw the original with Al Pacino and I thought this was a good follow up. I particularly enjoyed that it focused on his life prior to the point the original movie begins with. I also appreciated the way the director set-up the storyline with the background information (the territorial/ethnic nature of Harlem,etc.). Being from the east coast, I've heard tales of Nicky Barnes growing up and this movie gave a good perspective on him too.