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Tue Walin Storm
Firas Al Khazaali,
Michael Q. Schmidt
Dante and his girlifrend Micky run a very profitable drug operation in a seaside town, aided and abetted by a host of teens who sell the smack at discos around town, as well as by Lucas, a corrupt cop who's on the take. Their downfall comes when they suspect one of the boys, Pep, of ripping them off, and his accidental death causes disloyalty among the teens, who suspect Dante offed them. All of this is perfect for the return of Gabriel, a one-time partner of Dante, who has just been released from jail, and has an almost angelic demeanor and the certainty that he can fix everyone's lives. Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This story of murder and betrayal among drug dealers gets suitably gritty treatment from the writer and director, but unfortunately the whole thing seems out of focus, like one long drug-induced haze. Michael Rappaport plays Dante, a dealer who delivers his illegal wares to the disco crowd of south Florida via the high-school-aged punks who work the streets for him. Dante's life starts to spin out of control when said punks betray him to strike out on their own, leading to the murder of one of them and ending with Dante having to fight for his life when a rival sends his own gang of vicious kids after him. There are some good shootouts, warm interplay between Dante, his wife and Dante's right-hand man and many dream sequences, as Rappaport and Company recall happier days, which are increasingly in stark contrast to the reality around them.
What throws the movie off its narrative track are the extended slo-mo's, too many of the afore-mentioned dream sequences, the total lack of any human beings in sight except drug dealers and the baffling scenes where Tony Danza, as Dante's drug overlord, talks a little like an Eastern guru giving life lessons in metaphors. Wouldn't such a man - whose power would be backed by fear and violence - be screaming "Where is my f___ing money? and I'll kill you!" when one of one of his dealers (Dante) suddenly stops bringing in the money? What's frustrating about this film is the fact that when it works (gritty environs, vivid shootouts, nice supporting performances by Lili Taylor, Adam Trese and Kevin Corrigan) it's good, but when it's over you don't know what happened to Dante (the movie ends on one of its many dream sequences) and you feel like you've nodded off for an hour and a half and dreamed something about drug dealers in south Florida, but you can't remember what.
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