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USA: Ruff Nation Films
Cast: Sam Jones, Nelly, Zoe Saldana, Dean Winters, Rashaan Nall, Schooly-D, J D Williams, Joel Garland, Mpho Koaho, Victor Togunde, Carlo Alban, Rich Heidelberg, Charli Baltimore, Frank Vincent, Johnnie Hobbs Jr, Ophelia M Turner, Jessica Rodriguez, Heather Hunter, Larry Mendte, Kevin Anthony, Andy Ranley
Director: Rich Murray
USA Rated: R for violence, language, some drug use and brief nudity
USA Release Date: 4 October 2002 (Limited Release)
USA Release Date: 20 September 2002 (Limited Release)
USA Release Date: 4 September 2002 (Limited Release)
SNIPES is an action-thriller set in the mean streets of Philadelphia, a journey through the dark side of the rap music industry and an underworld of hustlers, thieves, and killers who'll do whatever it takes to stay on top of the game.
It's the story of Erik Triggs (Sam Jones), a teenager who's got a problem with authority figures and a reputation as Philly's top 'sniper' - the term used for a subculture of kids that record labels employ to plaster the city with promotional material. Erik is currently working for Ill Wax Records, a company founded by notorious ex-street hustler Bobby Starr (Dean Winters). Ill Wax may be coming off a string of flops, but Starr is convinced he's found the golden goose in his latest discovery Prolifik (Nelly), a rapper whom Erik idolizes. Prolifik's first single is burning up the charts and Bobby Starr can't wait to rush his debut album out to the masses - but first Prolifik has to finish it, and lately the studio sessions have yielded nothing but infighting and more delays.
Erik quickly realizes that not everything is what it seems to be and that the record label is involved in a dark and complex conspiracy. Caught in the crossfire, Erik must rely on his wits to stay alive.
SNIPES recalls such classic thrillers as MARATHON MAN, THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR, and BLOW OUT. A roller-coaster ride of twists and revelations that builds to an explosive climax, it sheds light on the dark side of a business fuelled by greed and disposable heroes. In the end, it's all about the hype - and in the case of Erik Triggs, the hype is a dangerous thing to believe.