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Blow: the inevitable crash of George Jung,
This review is from: Blow [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Director Ted Demme died from a drug overdose around a year after finishing Blow. One suspects that the highly talented Demme desired to confront his own demons while putting together this first rate film. Johnny Depp aptly portrays George Jung as a man who subtly, but most assuredly chose the path to self destruction. He is not a victim and deserves no pity. Is Jung a monster? Perhaps not, but he made his own bed and now has to lie in it. Jung is greatly responsible for introducing the horror of cocaine into the United States. He starts out as a typical teenager from a blue collar family. Jung's father (Ray Liotta) and mother (Rachel Griffiths) raises their family in a struggling middle class environment. During his early adult years, Jung travels to California and starts enjoying the wild parties, easy sex, and mind altering drugs. He eventually meets a major drug seller (Paul Reubens) who partners with him to market very large quantities of marijuana. Common sense dictates that sooner or later Jung will be arrested. Sadly, however, Jung is not only personally addicted to drugs but also the accompanying risky lifestyle. Rational considerations therefore will not stand in the way of Jung's slide into evil and debauchery.
We eventually accompany Jung to Columbia where he is promoted to the major leagues of drug running. Betrayal and back stabbing become the norm. He meets and marries Mirtha (Penelope Cruz), a woman is also a coke junkie and out of control pleasure seeker. Hedonism dominates their lifestyle, and money is so plentiful that neither knows how to spend it all. They flippantly make large purchases which soon bore them. Bringing a child into the world does little to encourage prudence. Their train is going to crash, and one can only hope the collateral damage is minimal. Our eyes are riveted to the screen as Jung is ultimately brought to a bad end. Ted Demme may have been too conflicted to unambiguously present George Jung as a moral monster deserving of severe punishment, but we never mistake him for some sort of misunderstood folk hero.
Blow will force you to wonder if our drug laws make any sense. Is it truly worth the damage to our political and public institutions to continue criminalizing such activity? Jung, after all, may be still be in jail, but his successors remain on the street. I also recommend Traffic and the utterly fantastic and overlooked masterpiece, Rush. And yes, parents should definitely encourage their adolescent children to view this disturbing film.