Story of a promising high school basketball star and his relationships with two brothers, one a drug dealer and the other a former basketball star fallen on hard times and now employed as a security guard.
Jeff Cole is a recent graduate of the Cincinnati police academy who dreams of working undercover. His wish is granted and through success is given the task of taking down state-wide crack ... See full summary »
Youngsters from different countries, races, and social background are forced to integrate when they all enroll in Columbus University. They all have their own problems, such as finance, harrassment, personal safety, and self doubt. Additionally, campus life seems to be causing a problem for everyone: racism. Students, already under pressure to perform in the classroom, on the track, or in front of their friends, are strained to the breaking point by prejudice, inexperience, and misunderstanding. Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
I was thoroughly disappointed by this movie. I love John Singleton's ideas and themes, and once in a while he creates powerful moments in film, but this one was a total miss. First of all, I don't know if Singleton ever went to college (I'm assuming he did) but the campus atmosphere in this movie was completely ridiculous. Yes, certain groups of students tend to congregate together and isolate themselves from other groups, but the division of these groups into warring factions in the film was way over the top. I mean, come on, a Nazi fraternity? Also, I almost laughed out loud when the innocent, vulnerable freshman girl gets raped and automatically becomes a bisexual feminist campus organizer.
On the other hand, the film does give sheltered white people a better view of the more subtle forms of racism minorities are bombarded with in all parts of America, even college campuses. I loved how Michael Rappaport's (white) character got away with violent crime while Omar Epps's (black) character was detained by the police for the same incidents, not once, but twice! This happens everyday, and it's about time we see it in film.
Lawrence Fishburne plays a sort of mentor/professor to Epps in the film, but his character is not nearly developed enough, and also, doesn't seem to know what he's talking about in his lectures. He said America was founded in order to create democracy? Even the most cursory study of history supports the view that America's founders were the same wealthy white men who felt their social "inferiors" needed to be exploited and controlled to support the ruling class. I'm a little off topic now, but the point is that Singleton has failed in his efforts here to illuminate the roots of hatred and racial conflict. Compared to his more successful efforts Boyz n the Hood and Baby Boy, this movie is a failure.
Note: I've heard this film is required viewing in many college courses! Give me a break -- either those professors are so out of touch with actual campus life that they think this is somehow realistic, or they are closet conservatives who think this failed effort at liberal ideology will turn students off to efforts at social change. I wish they would give students more credit and show them a film that actually does a decent job of showing racial and class conflict in contemporary America, like the Weather Underground.
11 of 16 people found this review helpful.
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