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"American Bully" : Pluses and Minuses
on July 23, 2012
"American Bully" contains a decent attempt to illustrate bigotry and intolerance in post-911 America. The chronically profane dialogue carries a lot of weight in characterizing the wild--but still, Brandon excepted, fairly typical--adolescent protagonists despite the fact that the boys' voices all sound alike (and is it just my imagination, or is the lip-syncing off?). The Typical Smaller Town, USA, setting is, perhaps intentionally, confining, and, while low budget films often have a certain appeal, this one's limitations work against it pretty glaringly. I had much higher hopes for "American Bully": More development of the storyline and characters' motivations, particularly those of arch-bully Brandon O'Leary, could do miracles here. All the same, it certainly kept my attention and honestly surprised me in a couple of spots. If you don't expect too wide a scope and appreciate tense, disturbing films centered on teenagers getting themselves and others into troublesome, ultimately tragic situations, "American Bully" is for you.