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Carlito's Way: Rise to Power

Carlito's Way: Rise to Power

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Carlito's Way: Rise to Power is a 2005 direct-to-video
Direct-to-video
Direct-to-video is a term used to describe a film that has been released to the public on home video formats without being released in film theaters or broadcast on television...

 prequel
Prequel
A prequel is a work that supplements a previously completed one, and has an earlier time setting.The widely recognized term was a 20th-century neologism, and a portmanteau from pre- and sequel...

 to Brian De Palma
Brian De Palma
Brian Russell De Palma is an American film director and writer. In a career spanning over 40 years, he is probably best known for his suspense and crime thriller films, including such box office successes as the horror film Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Scarface, The Untouchables, and Mission:...

's 1993 film Carlito's Way
Carlito's Way
Carlito's Way is a 1993 crime film directed by Brian De Palma, based on the novels Carlito's Way and After Hours by Judge Edwin Torres. The film adaptation was scripted by David Koepp. It stars Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller, Luis Guzman, John Leguizamo, Jorge Porcel, Joseph Siravo, and...

, based on the novel Carlito's Way by Judge Edwin Torres
Edwin Torres (judge)
-Early years:Both of Torres' parents emigrated from Jayuya, Puerto Rico and settled in the barrio in Manhattan's Spanish Harlem where Torres was born. Growing up in poverty, Torres graduated from Stuyvesant High School. From there he attended City College of the City University of New York,...

. (The previous film was based on the Torres novel After Hours, but was retitled to avoid it being confused with Martin Scorsese's 1985 film of the same name
After Hours (film)
After Hours is a 1985 American black comedy film, written by Joseph Minion and directed by Martin Scorsese. Paul Hackett , a New Yorker, experiences a series of adventures and perils in trying to make his way home from SoHo.-Plot:...

.) The film was written and directed by Michael Bregman, who produced the first film. His father, Martin Bregman, produced both films.

Carlito's Way: Rise to Power stars Jay Hernandez
Jay Hernandez
Javier Manuel "Jay" Hernandez, Jr. is an American actor.-Early life and career:Hernandez was born in Montebello, California, the son of Isis , a secretary and accountant, and Javier Hernandez, Sr., a mechanic. He has a younger sister, Amelia, and two older brothers, Michael and Gabriel. Hernandez...

 as Carlito Brigante
Carlito Brigante
Carlito Brigante is the eponymous character from Carlito's Way and After Hours, novels by Edwin Torres. Torres has stated that Brigante was a combination of several men he knew in his street days, as well as a compilation of several of his own personal characteristics.Born in 1930 in Spanish...

, the character played by Al Pacino
Al Pacino
Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, though he has also appeared...

 in the first film, and chronicles Brigante's rise as a heroin drug czar in 1960s Harlem, New York. The film also features Mario Van Peebles
Mario Van Peebles
Mario "Chip" Cain Van Peebles is an American director and actor who has appeared in numerous Hollywood films. He is son of filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles.-Life and career:...

, Michael Joseph Kelly
Michael Kelly (American actor)
Michael Joseph Kelly is an American actor.-Early life:Kelly was born in Philadelphia and raised in Lawrenceville, Georgia, the son of Maureen and Michael Kelly. He has one brother and two sisters . He graduated from Brookwood High School in Snellville, Georgia...

, Luis Guzmán
Luis Guzmán
Luis Guzmán is an actor from Puerto Rico. He is known for his character work. For much of his career, he has played roles largely as sidekicks, thugs, or policemen....

 as Nacho Reyes (Guzmán being the only actor to appear in both Carlito's Way films, although as different characters), Jaclyn DeSantis
Jaclyn DeSantis
Jaclyn DeSantis is an American actress. She is best known for playing Maggie on the NBC television series Windfall. She played the character Heather in the movie Road Trip...

, Sean Combs
Sean Combs
Sean John Combs , also known by his stage names Diddy and P. Diddy, is an American rapper, singer, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. He has won three Grammy Awards and two MTV Video Music Awards, and his clothing line earned a Council of Fashion Designers of America award. He was originally...

, Burt Young
Burt Young
Burt Young is an American actor, painter and author. He is best known for his Academy Award-nominated role as Sylvester Stallone's brother-in-law and friend Paulie in the Rocky film series.-Personal life:...

, and Domenick Lombardozzi
Domenick Lombardozzi
Domenico "Domenick" Lombardozzi is an American actor best known for his role as Thomas "Herc" Hauk on The Wire. Lombardozzi was inspired to act by the film State of Grace.-Filmography:...

.

Plot


The story begins in the 1960s with three inmates in a New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 prison — Earl (Van Peebles), Rocco (Kelly), and Carlito (Hernandez) — controlling their criminal empire within their cell. Upon their release, they all look to control the drug trade in Harlem, which is currently in a power dispute between the Italian Bottolota crime family and black gangsters led by Hollywood Nicky (Combs). Rocco takes them to Artie Bottolota (Young) who at first is reluctant to work with blacks and Puerto Rican
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

s, but who eventually cuts a deal with them in heroin distribution. The friends also meet Artie's son, Artie Jr. Soon, Earl's troubled younger brother Reggie joins them. After Artie Jr. offers to shake hands with Reggie, when he sees he and Carlito at a strip joint, Reggie turns him down, saying "my brother was doing fine without you". Artie Jr. insults Reggie with a racial slur, spurring Reggie to curse him and spit in his face. Artie Jr. assaults Reggie, but the fight is broken up. Carlito urges Reggie to wait until Artie Jr. and his crew leave. The mobsters leave, only for Carlito and Reggie to be cornered by them outside.

Artie Jr. attempts to kill Reggie with a knife by cutting his tongue out, while Carlito is restrained. Rocco pulls up and tells Artie Jr. to let him go, reasoning they will "take care of him." Carlito also meets a young lady named Leticia and meets her brother Sigfredo. Carlito is then introduced to Leticia's entire family as a booker. Sigfredo knowing who and what Carlito really is and does, which leads to an immediate confrontation. After shooting Carlito with a .38 Special
.38 Special
The .38 Smith & Wesson Special is a rimmed, centerfire cartridge designed by Smith & Wesson. It is most commonly used in revolvers, although some semi-automatic pistols and carbines also use this round...

 Colt Detective Special revolver, Sigfredo then has to leave and take his family as well to prevent himself any danger. Reggie, after being abandoned by Carlito, who Earl asked to take care of, attacks and kidnaps Artie Jr. outside of his house, with the help of two other thugs. After Reggie gets the ransom, he leaves Artie Jr. in the trunk of a car to die, but he is released by police and returns to his family.

The Bottolotta Family blames Carlito, Rocco, and Earl, who left with his girlfriend to get married, for assisting Reggie in the kidnapping. Artie Sr. puts out a contract on Carlito, Rocco and Earl until Reggie and his men are dead. The hitman contracted to kill them, Nacho Reyes (Luis Guzman
Luis Guzmán
Luis Guzmán is an actor from Puerto Rico. He is known for his character work. For much of his career, he has played roles largely as sidekicks, thugs, or policemen....

), and Hollywood Nicky's driver help them find the two hoodlums who were with Reggie. Nacho tortures the two men to death and they give their dismembered body parts to Artie Sr. Carlito and Nacho find Reggie in an apartment, along with Earl who flew back to New York due to the situation. The four men draw guns, Nacho holding two .357 Magnum
.357 Magnum
The .357 S&W Magnum , or simply .357 Magnum, is a revolver cartridge created by Elmer Keith, Phillip B. Sharpe, Colonel D. B. Wesson of firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson, and Winchester. It is based upon Smith & Wesson's earlier .38 Special cartridge. The .357 Magnum cartridge was introduced in...

 Colt Python
Colt Python
The Colt Python is a .357 Magnum caliber revolver formerly manufactured by Colt's Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut. It is sometimes referred to as a "Combat Magnum". It was first introduced in 1955, the same year as Smith & Wesson's M29 .44 Magnum. The now discontinued Colt Python...

 revolvers & Carlito holding a .38 Special
.38 Special
The .38 Smith & Wesson Special is a rimmed, centerfire cartridge designed by Smith & Wesson. It is most commonly used in revolvers, although some semi-automatic pistols and carbines also use this round...

 Smith & Wesson Model 64
Smith & Wesson Model 64
The Smith and Wesson Model 64 Military and Police revolver is the stainless steel version of its Model 10. It is a six shot revolver chambered in .38 Special....

 revolver and Reggie threatens Carlito, preparing to fire on him. Earl chooses Carlito over Reggie, and murders his brother, sobbing over his body afterwards. Nacho leaves and Carlito, Earl and Rocco work for the Bottolotta Family, dealing heroin. The Bottolottas have them deal heroin for them, and then dismiss the three.

Carlito and Earl pay off the N.Y.P.D., the team led by the most corrupt, feared cops in Harlem to raid and kill the entire Bottolotta Family. Carlito, Rocco and Earl fly to the islands with Earl for his wedding. Earl retires, and Carlito reunites with Leticia, retiring temporarily.

Casting


The character of Hollywood Nicky played by Sean Combs
Sean Combs
Sean John Combs , also known by his stage names Diddy and P. Diddy, is an American rapper, singer, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. He has won three Grammy Awards and two MTV Video Music Awards, and his clothing line earned a Council of Fashion Designers of America award. He was originally...

 is modeled off of a younger Nicky Barnes who would rise to become one of New York's top drug lords.

In the film, the character Earl played by Mario Van Peebles
Mario Van Peebles
Mario "Chip" Cain Van Peebles is an American director and actor who has appeared in numerous Hollywood films. He is son of filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles.-Life and career:...

 makes a reference to Governor Rockefeller setting some new drug laws into effect. This is in reference to the Rockefeller drug laws
Rockefeller drug laws
The Rockefeller Drug Laws is the term used to denote the statutes dealing with the sale and possession of "narcotic" drugs in the New York State Penal Law. The laws are named after Nelson Rockefeller, who was the state's governor at the time the laws were adopted...

 which are to date amongst the toughest mandatory sentencing laws for drug dealers.

Luis Guzmán
Luis Guzmán
Luis Guzmán is an actor from Puerto Rico. He is known for his character work. For much of his career, he has played roles largely as sidekicks, thugs, or policemen....

 plays character roles in both Carlito's Way films. He plays Pachanga in Carlito's Way
Carlito's Way
Carlito's Way is a 1993 crime film directed by Brian De Palma, based on the novels Carlito's Way and After Hours by Judge Edwin Torres. The film adaptation was scripted by David Koepp. It stars Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller, Luis Guzman, John Leguizamo, Jorge Porcel, Joseph Siravo, and...

and Nacho in Carlito's Way: Rise to Power.