Wednesday, April 8, 1998

The Players Club

Posted By on Wed, Apr 8, 1998 at 12:00 AM

With his writing-directing debut, The Players Club, Ice Cube pulls off a mighty seduction, with a fiery climax to boot. Inside the club of the title, Cube and his director of photography Malik Sayeed construct a vivid realm around female protagonist Diana Armstrong (LisaRaye), who under the stage name Diamond turns to exotic dancing in order to make ends meet.

Newcomer Raye is engaging and versatile, but doesn't yet have the chops to hold down her scenes in Cube's winding tale. Similarly, the script moves in a lot of different directions, perhaps too many at the expense of the main plot. Still, Players Club weaves many different threads successfully, from the course of Diana's troublesome cousin Ebony (Monica Calhoun) through the club, to the travails of its owner Dollar Bill (Bernie Mac) with his loan shark St. Louis, and around other interesting characters as well. Cube moves measuredly, and only sometimes tediously, over these parts of a solid screenplay.

As an actor, Ice Cube has improved his own range so far as to inhabit whole psychic fields at certain points. His presence in the smoky club as patron Reggie carries some scenes entirely with a dazed cognizance. Reggie is a misogynist imp (Cube typecasting himself) who drums up wicked cadences in an atmosphere dank with male aggression. Still, this is a woman's film. Girls call most of the shots. Girls kick ass. Diana surpasses her vile situation, proving herself to be a diamond in the rough.

With assured direction and unsparingly realistic writing, Ice Cube makes good on the promise of his acting debut with John Singleton. The Players Club is an auspicious first film from a voice that needs to be heard from -- more.

E-mail comments to


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Forrest Green III

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation