Boyz N The Hood x 400 more curses.
Sobering and incisive, this cautionary urban drama centers on 18-year-old Caine Lawson (Tyrin Turner), a street tough facing a moral quandary while trying to turn his life around, aided by a pragmatic girlfriend (Jada Pinkett Smith) and a caring teacher (Charles S. Dutton). Can Caine rise above the entrapment of the ‘hood? Samuel L. Jackson plays Caine’s junkie father, and Larenz Tate is a standout as hair-trigger homeboy O-Dog.
The one thing I will note right before I review this film is that this film is not Boyz In The Hood. They are completley two different movies, if thats make any sense. Boyz shows the promise that the hood can give you when your looking to go away, but Menace shows the utter despair that the hood gives you.
The Hughes Brothers really should have been nominated for something at the Oscars for this film. It is a hood film, but shows a lot more of the sex, drug use, and overall violence and crime that is committed everyday in the hood. They don’t hold back once in showing how much these people run their lives so poorly and so on the edge. Along, with the writing they create this essence and flavor to the film that is filled with a whole bunch of profanity, but isn’t used just for show, you actually feel the way these people talk is all real.
At first I felt the film did little to entertain me, which I think was my problem mostly cause I wasn’t paying attention. But the beginning part of his flashback I have seen time, and time again before. So there was really nothing new in these scenes, which gives it a lower rating. But there were a couple of powerful scenes by the end, but probably the most important one is the scene in the jail where the past & present meet up, and let me just say one thing if you want to get chocked up watch the whole movie, and especially that scene.
The acting in this film is great to mostly because The Hughes Brothers didn’t get all these big-time stars. In a great leading role, Turner creates this confused, but mentally strong person at heart, that although when he does bad things, doesn’t have us hate him. Tate as his best friend is very good here as well, and provides a lot of insight of just a total menace, and without him Turner’s wouldn’t be such a great tragic hero.
Consensus: Menace II Society starts off slow, but The Hughes Brothers unrelenting direction of sex, drugs, and violence, with some of the most emotionally powerful and true scenes ever, make this one of the best tragic stories of all time.