6.0/10
3,301
38 user 40 critic

Light It Up (1999)

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ON DISC
A group of teens is bent on improving the run-down conditions of their high-school.

Director:

Craig Bolotin

Writer:

Craig Bolotin
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Usher Raymond ... Lester Dewitt
Forest Whitaker ... Officer Dante Jackson
Rosario Dawson ... Stephanie Williams
Robert Ri'chard ... Zacharias 'Ziggy' Malone
Judd Nelson ... Ken Knowles
Fredro Starr ... Rodney J. Templeton
Sara Gilbert ... Lynn Sabatini
Clifton Collins Jr. ... Robert 'Rivers' Tremont
Glynn Turman ... Principal Allan Armstrong
Vic Polizos ... Capt. Monroe
Vanessa Williams ... Audrey McDonald (as Vanessa L. Williams)
Gaddiel Otero Gaddiel Otero ... Arturo Orosco
Frank Dominelli Frank Dominelli ... Sgt. Tortino
Reggie Theus Reggie Theus ... Intel. Officer #1
Jennifer Say Gan ... Intel. Officer #2
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Storyline

On a winter day in a southside Queens high school, events collide and six students are suddenly in an armed standoff with the NYPD. At the school, classrooms freeze, teachers come and go, resources are scant. When a popular teacher is suspended, a few students protest. Jackson, a new security guard, gets tough. In a scuffle, Jackson's wounded with his own gun and a student takes him hostage. A few kids join in, for various reasons. An ineffective policewoman tries to mediate as the police plan an assault, the kids demand improvements to the school, the media pick up the story, and Jackson turns sympathetic. But are too many forces in motion for the students to stay in control? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the biggest situation in your life, How Far will you go to resist it? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violent content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Generación perdida See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,408,613, 14 November 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,871,603, 16 January 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Usher Raymond and Fredro Starr played love interests of Brandy's character on her show Moesha. See more »

Goofs

While the two students are sitting on the floor talking in the library, the books on the shelf change between shots. See more »

Quotes

Lester Dewitt: Assume the position!
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Connections

References Jerry Springer (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

First One Hit
Written by Bink (as Roosevelt Harrell), Amil (as Amil Whitehead), Solé (as Tonya Johnston)
Performed by Amil & Solé
Produced by Bink for One Shot Deal Entertainment, Inc.
Amil appears courtesy of Roc-A-Fella/Columbia Records
Solé appears courtesy of Red Zone Productions/Dreamworks Records
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User Reviews

Silly, another teen angst movie
17 January 2001 | by sychonicSee all my reviews

This one has some really good things going for it--chief among them some really good choices for the cast, especially Forest Whittaker. He's quite good as a cop taken hostage by some dissatisfied high school students. The younger cast is pretty good too.

Having said that, this movie really was poor. It tries to produce some ambiguity at the very beginning about how these students somehow got into this hostage situation. But in reality, there's very little ambiguity: the teens assault a police officer, and then point a firearm at him, which during a struggle to obtain it goes off wounding him. They subsequently take the officer hostage, with of the course the threat that he will be further harmed. Just in those few sentences, a number of extremely serious crimes are committed--and it's hard to have much sympathy for these youths no matter how much they may feel misunderstood or ignored.

It would be easier to take such a silly movie in stride, much like "Wild in the Streets" or "Rock N' Roll High School" as just another teen rebel movie if it didn't take itself so deadly seriously. The atrocious script really does a disservice to the actors who are almost all good, the exception going to Vanessa Williams, who is gorgeous but pretty limp here. So many legitimate issues about education, schools, police attitudes, urban decay, teen safety, and so poorly done.

Yet another missed opportunity to put on Hollywood's long list.


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