Boyz N The Hood
Guy Lochhead, 04/04/12
1991 hood film set in South Central, Los Angeles, and concentrating on the relationship between one teenager, Tre, and his father, who is determined not to let his son fall into the cycle of violence lived by many of his friends. It was directed by John Singleton when he was 24. The film earned Best Screenplay and Best Director nominations. This film is weird, weird, weird. I think the problem I have with it is that it finds its redemption in the American Dream, which sits very uneasily with the realities of the violent ‘hood life it’s so overtly condemning. Cuba Gooding Jr. is so dorky and white-bread that it’s awkward to watch. His perfect teeth, neat hair and white shirts don’t allow the film to have the sort of impact it could. Similarly, his relationship with his father develops through the corniest bro-down exchanges. All the women in the film are pretty much ignored. It’s obviously a man’s film, made by a man, aiming at the men who commit such violence. As worthy as this might be, it’s also very flawed. Too clean, too perfect, too all-American. The football player dies. Tre gets into a good college. The baddies get got (hypocritical?!). I got bored. This review sums up a lot of my feelings on it: http://www.brianorndorf.com/2011/07/reliving-the-summer-of-1991-diary-week-eight.html

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