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Dangerous Ground (1997)

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Vusi Madlazi returns to the South African village he left as a young boy (he was organizing against apartheid, and left in fear of his life) to bury his father. He meets up with his brother... See full summary »

Director:

Darrell Roodt (as Darrell James Roodt)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Thokozani Nkosi ... Young Vusi
Ron Smerczak Ron Smerczak ... Interrogation Policeman (as Ron Smerczac)
Wilson Dunster Wilson Dunster ... Heavy Policeman
Ice Cube ... Vusi Madlazi
Sechaba Morojele Sechaba Morojele ... Ernest Madlazi
Peter Khubeke Peter Khubeke ... Igqira (as Peter Kubheka)
Roslyn Morapedi Roslyn Morapedi ... Vusi's Mother
Elizabeth Hurley ... Karen
Mabel Mafuya Mabel Mafuya ... Woman
Fana Mokoena ... Youth
Maimela Motubatse Maimela Motubatse ... Youth
Nkululeko Mabandla Nkululeko Mabandla ... Youth
Robert Whitehead Robert Whitehead ... Sandton Hotel Receptionist
Gresham Phetjaulima Gresham Phetjaulima ... Bellboy
Tony Caprari Tony Caprari ... Bar Owner
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Storyline

Vusi Madlazi returns to the South African village he left as a young boy (he was organizing against apartheid, and left in fear of his life) to bury his father. He meets up with his brother Ernest, who tells him their other brother Stephen couldn't be contacted. Vusi goes to Johannesburg to find him, but at first can only find his neighbor/girlfriend, Karin, a stripper. Vusi proceeds to learn how conditions have changed since the end of apartheid, not always for the better for black men. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What he wants is revenge. What he gets is the fight of his life.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, drug use and language, and for some nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | South Africa

Language:

English | Zulu

Release Date:

12 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A visszatérés See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,028,094, 17 February 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,079,851, 9 March 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's US release date was switched and moved a number of times during 1996 before it was finally released in early 1997 with little fanfare. See more »

Goofs

Karin's and Steven's apartments appear to be on the street level if you look from the street, but when Karin goes out the window to cross to Steven's apartment there's a street way down below. See more »

Quotes

Vusi Madlazi: There's two things I never, ever buy: water and pussy.
Black Hooker: Ha! Why's that?
Vusi Madlazi: Because they both come free.
See more »

Connections

References Driving Miss Daisy (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Yebo
Written by Jonathan Jeczalik, Anne Dudley, West Nkosi
Performed by The Art of Noise
Courtesy of Off-Beat Records Inc. and China Records Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Tries to be meaningful but is really one big smug cliché with a stupid confused message
7 April 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

When South African native Vusi returns from 15 years in America he finds himself a stranger in his own home. He has come to bury his father but is asked by his mother to find his youngest brother who has gone missing in Johannesburg. Checking out an address Vusi meets one of his brothers friends Karin, and finds that his brother has stolen money from a drug dealer - creating more problems for Vusi as Muki is willing to kill to get his money back.

This starts with flashbacks to South Africa during the early 80's, where we find Ice Cube –ys, you heard me – was one of the student leaders of the uprising for change. Years later he returns, bringing with him a heavy monologue that lectures us about drugs being the new trap for the black man and how he must help the kids etc. The story itself never really gets interesting – the only interest is the possibility to learn about life in S. Africa, however even that is a bit stereotyped.

The monologue makes the film feel even heavier than it is, but when the film eventually settles in the guns n' gangstas ending that it promises it appears to have confused itself. The film lectures about making the right choice as men, about the evils of drugs – in fact Vusi makes it his mission in USA and S. Africa to help kids stay in education etc. However after all that lecturing, a happy ending only comes with murder, violence and guns – is that the films message? That drugs are bad and are a global trap for the black man and the only way to stop them is to leave education programmes and murder anyone involved in the deals? I wouldn't have seen it this way if it had just set itself out as another thriller with an African twist, but because it is message heavy until it gets guns, I feel that it wanted to have it both ways when it can't.

Ice Cube is watchable, even when he is in rubbish films, here he is OK but is really pushing the laid-back yank thing too much. His voice over is so preachy and monotonous that at times I thought he was falling asleep in the studio. Hurley looks sexy (despite working in a strip cub where no-one gets naked!) but her accent wanders all over the place – from English to African and back again. Ving Rhames plays a sort of African Marcellus Wallace – the first dialogue scene he has all we see is the back of his head……very Pulp Fiction. His accent is good but his character is nothing new.

Overall this `action' movie is dull – the interesting cast make it worth one watch but no more than that. The mix of `stay in school kids' and `just say no' is too heavy and labourious, but is made even more pointless by the film's conclusion that the best way to deal with criminals destroying an area is to get guns and kill them!


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