Chicago – Assigned the role of World’s Worst Father Figure, Common
delivers a performance so compelling that it nearly makes Sheldon Candis
’ blood-soaked odyssey worth the trip. Nearly, however, is the key word. For all of it merits, this picture derails into a ditch of heavy-handed implausibility at the precise moment when it should be soaring.
One of the recurring images in “Luv
,” which is memorably etched in its poster art, is the back of a child’s head as it looks off into a blurred universe that it can’t fully comprehend. Much of the tangled, murky plot is viewed from the perspective of this 11-year-old boy, Woody (Michael Rainey Jr.
), who shares the audience’s confusion at the mounting danger that threatens to engulf him entirely. Candis’ vision of Baltimore is intensely claustrophobic, with houses uneasily wedged against one another, confining the desperate protagonists like rats in a maze.