In California, the Caucasian Chris Mattson and his African-American wife Lisa Mattson move to a house in a gated community. The racist and dysfunctional next-door neighbor is the abusive LAPD Officer Abel Turner who feels uncomfortable with the relationship of the newcomers and transforms their lives into Hell on Earth.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The KPW tattoo on Patrick Wilson's left arm, stands for Kalin Patrick Wilson, his first born son. See more »
Abel Turner has a goatee in every shot, including on duty. LAPD grooming standards prohibit beards and goatees while on duty. See more »
The way it seems to me, the man never made an actual threat against your life or property. So it's his word against yours. And he has, let's say, the color issue on his side. And that color happens to be blue.
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Shimmy Shimmy Ya
Written by RZA (as Robert Diggs), Ol' Dirty Bastard (as Russell Jones)
Performed by Wu-Tang Clan (as Wu-Tang Clan)
Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
Sam Jackson returns for Jungle Fever 2008...I mean Lake View Terrace
After watching the trailer for "Lakeview Terrace" I had no idea the film was about racism. The trailer shows an interracial couple moving next door to a black cop and then being terrorized by him. But the motive for his actions isn't mentioned. Only in doing research did I learn that he's against the idea of an interracial couple. Why was it so hard to mention that? Maybe the studio thought too many people would be turned away by a movie about race, which makes me wonder why they made the movie in the first place.
Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington play Chris and Lisa Mattson, an interracial couple who have just into a nice house in Lakeview Terrace, a beautiful Californian suburb. Samuel Jackson plays Abel Turner, an LAPD cop who's a strict father, and menacing cop, and a complete racist. Only minutes into the film we learn of his distaste for Kobe Bryant when his son puts on his jersey. I wonder why? He tells him to put on Shaq's jersey instead as if Shaq is any better role model.
The movie starts off well. Turner has a good reason for dis-liking them in the beginning. Chris and Lisa have a public make out session in their pool while his kids watch from an upstairs window.
How does Turner handle it? He disables their air conditioner. At that point it becomes clear that Turner is far beyond a typical racist, he's complete psycho. And that's when "Lakeview Terrace" looses all its credibility.
Turner is supposed to be a dedicated father, whose sole purpose is to protect his kids. That gives him humanity. That makes him a believable character. But half way through the movie his kids are sent away so Abel can do things completely out of character, like hosting a bachelor party at three in the morning.
I can't blame Samuel Jackson for creating such ludicrous character. His performance is decent, but certainly not his best work when it comes to yelling and acting crazy. Blame the writers. I imagine that at one point "Lakeview Terrace" was intended to be a realistic film about a real people in a real situation: an interracial couple moves next door to a bitter racist. But I'm sure that was changed to make the movie more exciting. The bitter racist was transformed into a bitter psycho racist who does things that no human being would ever do.
I sure hope no one saw this movie expecting just a routine thriller. Films about race can be hard to stomach at times, I hope the people that saw this movie knew what they were getting. But despite themes of race, this movie has nothing to say about race. It's a silly movie that just uses racism as an easy motivation for one character to terrorize another.
There are several opportunities where the film makers had a chance to say something about race. Turner's daughter wonders what it would be like to date a white boy that she likes. Well as interesting as that would be, it never happens. What a waste.
Chris and Lisa mention children numerous times. And it becomes clear that bringing an interracial child into the world is an issue in this movie, but that sub plot has no pay off at all. What would Turner think of a mixed race child living next door? Well he never knows about it so what's the point? Despite my grievances with this film I must admit it is quite exciting. You never know what Turner is going to do next and creates genuine suspense. But that suspense isn't strong enough to cover the foul stench this film leaves behind when it ends. Not one minute of it is believable and each scene gets more ridiculous then the one before it. "Lakeview Terrace" seems to be a nice place to live, but the movie isn't worth the time.
My grade: D
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