A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.
This urban nightmare chronicles several days in the life of Caine Lawson, following his high-school graduation, as he attempts to escape his violent existence in the projects of Watts, CA. Written by
Daniel Bredy <email@example.com>
A prison riot sequence was cut from the film in order to avoid an NC-17 rating. See more »
In the beginning of the movie Tat pulls out a Colt Detective Special 38 caliber revolver and points it at the man, after a few words Tat shoots the man 8 times which is not possible because the gun only holds 6 bullets See more »
Nigga, I know you ain't dumb enough to be showin' niggas the robbery tape, man. What's up with that?
Man, cool out, nigga. We just havin' fun with the motherfuckin' tape. Damn, alright, ain't nobody else gonna see the tape. The shit is funny to me, though.
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I thought killing those fools would make me feel good, but it really didn't make me feel anything.
The directorial debut of twin brothers Albert and Allen Hughes, Menace II Society is a tough, no nonsense look at youthful black life in the Watts section of Los Angeles. The Hughes Brother's movie charts the hapless life of Caine (Tyrin Turner) as he seeks to escape the ghetto. The son of both a drug dealer (Samuel L. Jackson in a potent appearance) and an addict, Tyrin, surrounded by guns and a machismo culture, is tied to his friends and the way of life afforded him. Even as love and a chance of a way out arises with Jada Pinkett's (terrific) pretty Ronnie, it's doubtful if Tyrin will escape from the revolving door of death.
Menace II Society had a troubled beginning, refused a video certificate on the grounds of its profane language and brutally violent scenes, it has since gone on to be viewed as one of the finer exponents of anti-violence involving Black Americans. That wasn't always the case though, many critics in the 90s were prone to calling it a film that glamorises the lifestyle of "Hood" gangsters, but offered a saver of sorts by correctly saying it had realism in amongst the harshness. Certainly the dialogue and regional slang was refreshing to hear, thus affording "Menace" and its makers praise for keeping it real, so to speak.
Ineviatbly comparisons were (are) drawn with John Singleton's 1991 film, Boyz n the Hood. But although "Menace" is rawer, uncompromising and more visceral with impact, it lacks the intelligence of Singleton's film. Where "Boyz" had fully rounded characters, character with which to hang your hat on to, "Menace" is just a social group of youths we neither know or care about outside of the group, ego driven dynamic. When lead protagonist Tyrin is trying to deal with his inner conflict, we the audience are treated to standard run of the mill melodrama. The streetwise edginess that the Hughes' began their film with (the opening is nigh on horrific) has long since gone as they try to make a film that touches all the bases of Black Americana.
Easily the most realistic of all the ghetto films made, in fact the film at times feels like we are on a documentary drive around downtown Watts. Menace II Society, however brutal it clearly is, has loaded the gun and shot the bullet, only to see it narrowly miss the whole target it was aiming for. Still it's one hell of an experience though. 8/10
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