Brandon is a 15 year old whose dream is a pair of fresh Air Jordans. Soon after he gets his hands on them, they're stolen by a local hood, causing Brandon and his two friends to go on a dangerous mission through Oakland to retrieve them.
In the late 80s/ early 1990s, the most feared battle MC in Queens, New York, was a fierce teenage girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders. At the age of 14, Lolita "Roxanne ... See full summary »
A just paroled white neo-nazi and his ruthless girlfriend kill a cop and take an African-American family hostage. Meanwhile the supremacist leader who oversees his criminal empire from behind bars, is not happy. Inspired by real events.
Fifteen-year-old Brandon longs for a pair of the freshest sneakers that money can buy, assuming that merely having them on his feet will help him escape the reality of being poor, neglected by the opposite sex and picked on by everyone - even his best friends. Working hard to get them, he soon finds that the titular shoes have instead made him a target after they are promptly snatched by Flaco, a local hood. Brandon goes on a mission to retrieve his stolen sneakers.
"Sometimes I wish I had a spaceship.. Just hangout in space where it's quiet. And no one can f**k with me."
Kicks starts out with us being introduced to Brandon, a 15 year old living in the East Bay. We meet his two best friends Albert and Rico. The three live a normal day to day life of school, chasing girls, and getting high. Brandon is small for his age and doesn't a hold a lot of confidence within himself. This is due to his size, his longing for and lack of experience with the opposite sex, and most of all his confidence and status among his peers. Brandon's sneakers are busted, and he can't afford a sought after pair of Jordans. Albert and Rico both have Jordans. And hot kicks mean status.
This is a world where "J's" and other symbols give you a status.. Where others might look at you like you ARE someone. Where others admire and aspire for what you have.
We see this when Brandon acquires a pair of J's from a street vendor, and soon thereafter is beaten up by a group of thugs led by a man named Flaco. He is forced to give them away. The three boys decide to embark on an adventure over the bridge to Oakland to get the kicks back.
Don't get me wrong, this film isn't about Jordans. Or status. It's a coming of age film where we witness a boy at a point in his life where he learns to stand up for himself, and to truly realize what's important.
This is director Justin Tipping's feature-length debut. Tipping's realistic vision of this world comes through full force in Kicks. The film is presented in chapters each with a title card featuring a song that is a bit of a hint at what's to come. The cinematography by Michael Ragen is beautiful and aesthetically the film is absolute. The acting by Jahking Guillory (Brandon) and Kofi Siriboe (Flaco) is memorable.
The film is fast and harsh at times, yet so dreamy and alluring at others. The portrayal of how violent our world can be is disheartening, although at the end of the film you are able to corral a sense of hope. I would recommend this movie to anyone, and I'll be looking forward to Tipping's next project.
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