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They grew up together in the suburbs of LA, living their own version of the American dream, with every day a blur of partying and looking for the next thrill. Johnny (Emile Hirsch, Lords of Dogtown) is the leader in their sordid world of drugs, greed, power and privilege. But when he is double-crossed by another dealer, things quickly begin to spiral out of control, and an impulsive kidnapping leads to a shocking conclusion. Justin Timberlake (Edison), Sharon Stone (Bobby) and Bruce Willis (Lucky Number Slevin) co-star in this powerful and controversial film.
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Top customer reviews
The film is energetic, well-paced, and disturbing. It also has smatters of perverse humor. I think the ending speech by Anton Yelchin sums it up perfectly. He says that he's sick of leading a life where he isn't good at anything. He comes to appreciate his mom, who's "the bomb". He's at a turning point, and can choose the right path. Unfortunately, fate will decide otherwise. The parents of most of the film's teenagers are reprehensible; it's obvious the director's message is that screwed-up parenting leads to messed-up kids. Johnny Truelove's dad (played by Bruce Willis) only chastises his son when he does something to threaten the family drug-dealing business. Timberlake's character's father is a drunken womanizer who pulls it together in the morning to go to his suit-and-tie job. His son's work for the day involves pruning the abundant marijuana plants in the backyard. "He has a garden full of vegetables and spices to eat healthy, but drinks liquor every night and fills his veins with drugs. What a hypocrite".
For teenagers to party like this and soak their minds in a cocaine fog means that their parents are not involved. The hard-earned pleasures of sports, playing a musical instrument, or mastering an art are replaced by the glowing rapture of fried brain cells. This leads to poor judgment that can end in murder. Or maybe these kids were just never taught the intrinsic value of human life. That involves parental guidance as well.
The action is well paced, the storyline is a fun game up until you realize it's NOT going to end well... The aftermath is as gratifying and as horrifying at times as the actual crime committed...
And while some of the acting of the established stars left a lot to be desired, the performances of the younger less established actors (such as Timberlake and Ben Foster, etc.) were raw and gripping and truly made the story an intense experience not easily forgotten. When the ending finally came, I was focused like I had not been in quite some time. This movie left me shaking my head in disbelief on many different levels.
This may not be the best movie ever made and I understand why it was released straight to DVD, but I'm glad that curiosity got the better of me just to see if Justin Timberlake could act (which, by the way, he can) because this is not a movie that I will easily forget... and if you watch it, I don't think you will either.
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