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Menace II Society
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Menace II Society More at IMDbPro »

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A Classic Hood Movie

Author: imlilshowoff from new york
29 May 2004

I love this movie so much that its hard for me to even pick a favorite character. Everybody can pretty much identify with Caine because he's the narrator and the star and all, but for me maybe because I've seen this movie so many times, I can really feel where everyone is coming from. A part of me really wishes that a sequel was made or a prequel going into O-dog's life, cause he was a wiiilllld boy!!! I know I would be first in line to see that if ever they decided to put that out. But on a serious note this movie was very powerful and gritty. Its hard to believe that a person can just become used to seeing people dying all the time. Another really sad part in this movie was the cops in this film. I mean if police are even close to being that brutal as they showed it in 'Menace', I can really understand why Ice-T was saying 'f**k the police!' But everyone gave an amazing performance, its just too bad that with the exception of Larenz Tate, Charles S. Dutton, and Jada Pinkett I haven't seen too much of these actors. So if you're looking for a movie that comes with everything: action, comedy, romance, action again, and an amazing tale that depicts street life in L.A. this is the one for you. 4 stars all the way!

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You can't just leave the ghetto..

Author: sixerzpac3 from Reading, PA
11 April 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

:::SPOILER WARNING:::

One of the few ghetto films to be funny, sad, and violent all at the same time. Kevin 'O-Dog' [Larenz Tate] and Caine 'Kaydee' Lawson [Tyrin Turner] are 2 hustlers growing up in California. One day while going into a store for liquor, the Chinese owners start following them around like they're going to steal something. After buying the liquor, one of the Chinese owners makes a comment about O-Dog's mom. What's the price? Death. Both of the Chinese owners are killed by O-Dog and he takes the store tape so there was no proof. Kaydee was in shock.

Kaydee grew up around drugs. His father, Tat Lawson [Samuel L. Jackson], was a dealer. He saw his dad murder someone at the age of 10. His dad was later killed in a drug deal gone bad. Kaydee went to live with his grandparents.

Kaydee and his cousin Harold are out cruising one night and they're car jacked. Harold dies. O-Dog and Kaydee strike revenge on the killers by killing them at a burger joint. It was the first time Kaydee had murdered.

Kaydee falls in love with Ronnie [Jada Pinkett Smith]. She has a 5 year old son who reminds Kaydee of himself when he was young. Ronnie gets a job in Atlanta and he agrees to go with her. Pernell [Glenn Plummer] is the father. However, he is in jail for life with no chance of parole. Pernell was like a father figure to Kaydee when he was young. He told Kaydee to go to Atlanta with Ronnie and keep his son out of what they had become. But, before he found out about the Atlanta trip, Kaydee has sex with Llena [Erin Leshawn Wiley]. When she tells him she's pregnant, he says it's not his.

Kaydee and his friend Chauncy [Clifton Powell] get a in a fight and Kaydee beats him up pretty good because Chauncy was harassing Ronnie at a party. For revenge, Chauncy sends in the tape of the murder at the liquor store that O-Dog had been showing everyone.

When Llena's cousin [Samuel Monroe Jr], confronts Kaydee about Llena being pregnant, he beats him up saying it's not his. Just when Kaydee and Ronnie are getting ready to move, DRIVE BY! Kaydee is shot dead by Llena's cousin for revenge. O-Dog is sent to jail because of the tape.

This story shows you that "you can't just leave the ghetto." You can't ignore what's going around you. You need to be in a gang or affiliated with drugs to live. If you don't belong with anyone, they will all be after you. They aren't scum. They're trying to make a living so they can get out of the ghetto. But by the time Kaydee was ready to leave, it was too late. He had done to many things to turn around and fix, and he had done too many things to move on. -Pat

9/10

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So Good

Author: Rob from United Kingdom
11 April 2004

Menace To Society is as hard hitting powerful as any film about the Hood is ever going to be. The opening scene was so well done I was blown away and loved it so much I would have been satisfied if that was the film even before the first 4 minutes were up and from there you are taken into this roller coater of horrific violence and Hood life.

I don't think this could have been more harrowing and let's face scary if it tried. It is like Boyz N The Hood in a way but it's more darker and there are no real good guys , only guys who don't care about there life and whose life they ruin. They are all very set into there family unit of Brothers and have no respect for one another as much as they try to show it especially O Dog who wouldn't jump in front of a car for a child if he had to. I can't remember who played Caine but who ever he was then all credit to him as you don't know whether to love him or hate him. I did neither I just pitied him because that's all you can give to people who are like that. I thought all credit to everybody on board but all the praise should be given to Larenz Tate as the evil and crazy O Dog. I have never seen a character so much in love with his own portrayal of life and hatred for everything except himself.

Was it Tupac who was supposed to play O Dog because I am so grateful he didn't because even though Tupac would have been good as he has been in that position, Larenz Tate is probably the better actor and let's face it, he portrayed thug life in a way which can put you off ever going around L.A.

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Powerful Movie!

Author: tyler denzinger from Santa Rosa, Ca
28 April 2002

A Powerful movie about living in the ghetto. All the characters are played so realisticly. If you watch this movie, watch out for O-Dogg in Snoop D-O- Double Gizle's new movie "Bones" powerful movie that when it was first released (1993) it was bashed for its pervasive language & strong violence. 1,000,000,000's of gats! This movie deserves ********** (if you can't count, that was 10, lol) so, that's my opinion!!!!

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Powerful Movie!

Author: tyler denzinger from Santa Rosa, Ca
28 April 2002

A Powerful movie about living in the ghetto. All the characters are played so realisticly. If you watch this movie, watch out for O-Dogg in Snoop D-O- Double Gizle's new movie "Bones" powerful movie that when it was first released (1993) it was bashed for its pervasive language & strong violence. 1,000,000,000's of gats! This movie deserves ********** (if you can't count, that was 10, lol) so, that's my f***in opinion!!!!

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8/10 Good

8/10
Author: The_Wood from United States
24 January 2002

This film is actually quite good. Not great however. After a brilliant jaw dropping opening, and an amazing first 45 minutes, the film starts to drag, and starts to become the same old thing.

A depressing ending leaves this film for non-entertainment value. Another problem: so many films have spoofed this film, it ceases to have the impact it once had.

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I'm not a thug, but I Love This Movie

Author: smiley_b81 from United States
4 December 2001

As a white, middle class kid who's never set one foot in California, and as an aspiring film critic who perfers Godard over Spielberg, I thought I'd hate this movie just as much as I loathed the pretentious and self-righteous "Boyz in da Hood". Yet after viewing "From Hell" and being exposed to the Hughes Brothers for the first time, I popped this movie in my DVD playa, and Wham! It pulled me in as soon as the New Line Logo shot up. The movie tells the story of a young Hood-rat named Kaine. Although he's the main character of the story, he's certainly not the movies hero. Kaine might be intelligent (he's a HS graduate), have more moral than some of his friends, and display a degree of loyalty and dignity, but he is also a killer, a thief, a liar and a straight up thug. In short the Hughes paint him as a pure human being and try to avoid the audience from feeling outright empathy toward him. In fact, unlike "Dead Presidents" and "From Hell" every character in "Menace II Society" is so well fleshed out by the acting and the writing that we don't fell any hatred toward anyone (which is rare for a Hood movie). I think O-Dogg is hilarious ("Nigga, you act'in lika little Bitch right now!", "You all up on his Nutsac" etc), and he's clearly a senseless killer who even Kaine distinguishes as "America's Nightmare". And that goes the same for my dawg MC Eiht (A-Wax). All I can say is, if your one of those types who hates Hood movies, hates rap music, and thinks that they are above all cinematic cliches' watch this movie, and you may just fall flat on your ass and change your mind.

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Simply a great movie

9/10
Author: Brendan Thesingh from Amsterdam
28 August 2001

I've probably seen this movie 20 times since it came out and I still watch it when it comes on television. I must say that some of the acting seems a bit corny now, but the images, characters and the story are still as gripping as ever. MIIS is basically a remake of the gangster classic Public Enemy from 1931. At that time Warner Brothers studios had directors that were interested in telling real stories. Another example also from 1931, I think, was I'm a Fugitive from a Chain Gang. Basically these films were about how life was in the early thirties for some people, like gangsters or poor people.

Anyway MIIS does this too. People compare it to Boyz 'n' da Hood and Do the Right Thing. Why do the Right Thing? That movie has a completely different theme than this one. It deals directly with racism, MIIS deals indirectly with racism, but is about living a life of crime in the ghetto. Boy 'n' the hood is similar, but is a morality play and also coming of age drama. Just, because black people act and direct a movie doesn't mean it's exactly the same subject. MIIS is more a tragedy, as soon as you hear the voice over of Caine and he begins to tell his story you know that this is not going to end well.

Furthermore the major part of the acting is great. Also a good thing is the dialogue in the script, it's all slang. When I first saw this movie I couldn't understand a word they were saying for the first ten minutes. This makes it more realistic, but also gives an almost Shakespeare like feel, because you have to listen with more effort to get the dialogue.

Lastly for those people who say this film is racist and stereotypical. Please look a little bit further. Stereotypes are put forward yes, but not to characterize all young black men in the hood, they are stereotypes of individuals that exist, the nut, the player, the religious fanatic, the hustler etc. And even though they are stereotyped the actors do a really good job in deepening ther characters. I can't find any racism in this film with the best of my ability, I think the directors just wanted to make a film that would be very impressive and they succeeded in that. Maybe you would like to see a more Mr. Rogers type of movie which Caines grandparents watch as O-Dog visits. A movie about a world where everything is hunky dory.

On a last note the point the movie makes is that it is not only your actions, but also your environment that inevitably lead to your fate. Even if you take the right actions the odds are highly stacked against you in places where there is little opportunity to get out of the mess you're in.

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A violent but extremely good movie

Author: martymaster (martymaster@hotmail.com) from Fredrikstad, Norway
19 June 2001

I just have to say that I loved this movie.I loved the whole atmosphere and everything about it.The movie is about two black boys that grows up in a bad city in USA with lots of criminal influence around them. And then they slowly gets drawn into the criminal environment that involves steeling and killing. The movie features a lot of violence and bad language and the movie is therefor not for kids.

The great thing about the movie is that it shows the truth about how hard it is for some black kids growing up in a world filled with racism and crime.It also shows that some people,like "O-dog" in the movie has forgotten all about the ethics and rules in life.

A very well made movie that you will remember for a long time.

Also see the movie "Dead presidents"

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Yikes! And Awaaay!

Author: (fandangonoir) from USA
5 April 2001

I thought Boyz N The Hood was the ultimate inner city gangs film. Menace blows it out of the water, way, way out of the water. The opening murder scene puts the chill in chilling. The film is brutal, hilarious, sick, twisted, touching and beautiful. The Hughes Brothers would seem to have the filmmaking chops to go down in history as two of the all time great directors, if they could only make another flick as killer as this. And how can you not like a film that has a cameo by Samuel L. Jackson? Or as I call him, Mister Senor Love Daddy. The only downside is movies like Boyz and Menace and Grand Canyon took a lot of the romance and glamour out of life in sunny Southern California.

Why on earth Menace II Society wasn't nominated for Oscars for screenplay, direction, best picture, best actor and supporting actor is utter insanity. And the Hughes brothers have pointed out in interviews that this flick is about "gangsters" not gangs. That's pretty obvious when you see the main character watchin' old black and white gangster movies. The fact it's about gangsters and not gangs makes it more appealing. It makes the film seem like a modern day film noir gangster movie and not just another Boyz N The Hood clone. High praise indeed, dig?

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