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One Liner Review:

A masterpiece of a film about the gritty, young life of kids growing up in the hood and dealing with the violence that surrounds them.

Brief Review:

REVIEW:

Boyz N The Hood is the ultimate movie about growing up in the hood and always having to look over your shoulder. It’s about being young in a place where everyone hangs out on their porches talking tough and either running into or else dodging violence when it comes around the corner. There have been many other movies about this lifestyle since Boyz, from Menace II Society to Friday (starring Ice Cube, from Boyz) to baby boy (directed by the same director as Boyz, john Singleton). All of these other movies are good, but none reaches the artistic excellence of the original. In fact, for Cube making Friday, and Singleton making baby boy, those movies were attempts to recapture the elements that worked so well for Boyz. And to certain extents, they worked. Both of those movies were entertaining, but neither one matched up to the movie that started it all. And that was in large part due to the time when Boyz N The Hood came out. It was fresh. The only thing that was even close to it was New Jack City, about low-level drug deals. Boyz N The Hood was something original, powerful, gritty, and true to life.

 

The movie starts off with the main character, Tre, as a young kid on his way to school with some friends. They go under the police tape of a crime scene and see the spot where a recent dead body was removed. They see the blood on the walls. Tre then goes to school and makes jokes in class, giving his teacher a hard time. She has him come up and teach the kids and he is surprisingly smart. But violent. He gets into a fistfight, and the next thing you know he is being sent away from his mom (Angela basset) to go live with his father, furious, played by Laurence Fishbourne.

 

When Tre gets to his father’s house, furious makes his son rake up all the leaves before even coming into the house for the first time. It’s a new day, and furious is laying down the law. Tre will have to do chores around here and be responsible. Still, in his free time he does find opportunities to hang out with kids in the neighborhood who get into more trouble than anything else. The kids go walking through a field one day and find a dead body. It’s just like the scene at the start of the movie, only this time they’re not just looking at blood from where a body used to be. This time, they’re seeing the body itself, getting to the spot before the police do. The scene is meant to show that the area Tre has moved to be actually much worse then where he was at the start of the film. But there’s a reason his mother sent him here. She feels that only his father can teach Tre how to be a man.

 

The childhood scenes go on for a solid portion of the movie. At least the first twenty minutes. We meet young Dough Boy and Ricky, two brothers who are completely different in their approach to life, even when they are just kids. Dough Boy is the tough fat guy who is street wise, but not afraid to get hurt. And Ricky is the nice guy athlete. At the end of the childhood portion of the film, furious and Tre are driving home, listening to the song “ooh child,” on the radio as they pass the house of the brothers and see Dough Boy being handcuffed and taken away in a police car. It’s a very powerful scene, with the music playing right along to it, and a clear setup of what the future of this character will be. This is one of the great moments of the movie, very sad, and filmed with all the right shots of the characters’ reactions. It’s a very upsetting, but deep way to end the childhood material.

 

And after that we start the young adult scenes with doughboy (now played by ice cube), playing dominoes with his friends at a BBQ party. The part is to celebrate Dough Boy’s release from prison, and the idea is that he has probably been in and out of prison again and again since the last time we saw him, being taken away in that police car. Tre, now played by Cuba Gooding Jr., walks into the yard, dressed in his yellow and black stylized outfit, and we meet the girl he’s seeing, played by Nia Long. We also meet the street girl who hangs out with Dough Boy’s crew, played by Regina King (the actress who would later play Cuba Gooding Jr’s powerful wife in Jerry McGuire).

 

Tre hangs out at the BBQ for a little bit, trying to play mind games with his girl and watching them back fire. Then he takes a plate of food back to his house to give to furious. This leads to the two of them sitting down for a heart to heart about the birds and the bees. We got to see a sex talk between furious and Tre during the childhood scenes, and now we get another one here with Tre as a young man. These scenes are fun and entertaining, but they are also a little uncomfortable, watching the boy talk to his dad about it. Still, Furious is Mr. Cool and he’s got good advice for his son. Tre tells his father a story about one time having sex with a girl without a condom, and we get to watch what happened that one day in flashback, as Tre nearly got shot at by the girl’s grandmother.

 

All of this has a purpose, because Tre is lying to his father, making the whole story up, and really is thinking a lot about having sex with his girl. But he hasn’t done it yet, as he reveals in the car to Ricky (now played by Morris Chestnut). He and Nia Long go back and forth debating the issue of how she is a catholic girl and whether or not he has to use a condom with her. And through all these conversations and debating there are helicopters flying right overhead, creating great amounts of noise and flashing lights into the windows. When Tre steps out to go for a ride with Ricky, the two of them are pulled over and harassed by cops. It’s a bad place to be, living in this hood as a young black male.

 

After the sex portion of the film, the next part is about violence. So far we have only been teased with violence in this movie. Furious shoots through a door at a burglar when Tre is young (and we get a great shot through the bullet holes), and a young Dough Boy get beat up by older kids. But the real violence starts when Ricky and Tre go taking a ride out to crimshaw, a place where they definitely don’t belong. That’s where they have a run in with another crew that leads to threats, gun pulling, and a machine gun blasting off shots into the air.

 

This is just the start of the violence. It’s like an introduction. Ricky goes on to meet with a college recruiter, who is impressed by the boy’s football skills, but shocked to see that Ricky has a son. Still the scholarship is on the table and is there if Ricky does decent on his SAT’s. And then the real violence appears. There is drive by shooting and execution style murders as Dough Boy gets involved and some of the more innocent characters come across deadly situations.

 

The intensity certainly builds in this movie and the tension gets tighter and tighter. The end puts Tre put in some very difficult decisions, wanting to kill more than anything else in the world and having to get past furious first. The movie gets gritty and heart stopping powerful. It’s upsetting, sure, but the intensity and realism of it all keeps us glued to the screen. The street violence here is ten times more powerful than it was in baby boy, menace II society, or any other hood movie. That’s because this movie isn’t trying to be artistic. It’s trying to be real.

 

Boyz N The Hood is one of the most intense movies around. Violence in cinema is nothing new, but this movie puts the violence in places we don’t really expect. Characters die that should have never been anywhere near it, and we are left with our jaws dropping to the ground. The movie is smart enough to know that spending time with these characters as they hang out on the porch will be entertaining. But it also knows that there needs to be a strong adult character to help Tre figure things out. Fishbourne’s furious is that character and he plays the man to perfection. The movie has so much going for it. There are a number of scenes that are powerful enough to make a grown man tear up. The intensity is real, and all the more emotional because of it’s gritty nature. This movie is a masterpiece of urban film. It’s better than spike lees do the right thing, which is the other, all time great movie about black people in a bad neighborhood. Both movies are terrific, but Boys N The Hood stands on it’s own as the best film, in this genre, of all time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boys N The Hood is the ultimate movie about growing up in the hood and always having to look over your shoulder. It’s about being young in a place where everyone hangs out on their porches talking tough and either running into or else dodging violence when it comes around the corner. There have been many other movies about this lifestyle since Boyz, from menace II society to Friday (starring ice cube, from Boyz) to baby boy (directed by the same director as Boyz, john Singleton). All of these other movies are good, but none reaches the artistic excellence of the original. In fact, for cube making Friday, and Singleton making baby boy, those movies were attempts to recapture the elements that worked so well for Boyz. And to certain extents, they worked. Both of those movies were entertaining, but neither one matched up to the movie that started it all. And that was in large part due to the time when Boyz N The Hood came out. It was fresh. The only thing that was even close to it was New Jack City, about low-level drug deals. Boyz N The Hood was something original, powerful, gritty, and true to life.

 

The movie starts off with the main character, Tre, as a young kid on his way to school with some friends. They go under the police tape of a crime scene and see the spot where a recent dead body was removed. They see the blood on the walls. Tre then goes to school and makes jokes in class, giving his teacher a hard time. She has him come up and teach the kids and he is surprisingly smart. But violent. He gets into a fistfight, and the next thing you know he is being sent away from his mom (Angela basset) to go live with his father, furious, played by Laurence Fishbourne.

 

When Tre gets to his father’s house, furious makes his son rake up all the leaves before even coming into the house for the first time. It’s a new day, and furious is laying down the law. Tre will have to do chores around here and be responsible. Still, in his free time he does find opportunities to hang out with kids in the neighborhood who get into more trouble than anything else. The kids go walking through a field one day and find a dead body. It’s just like the scene at the start of the movie, only this time they’re not just looking at blood from where a body used to be. This time, they’re seeing the body itself, getting to the spot before the police do. The scene is meant to show that the area Tre has moved to be actually much worse then where he was at the start of the film. But there’s a reason his mother sent him here. She feels that only his father can teach Tre how to be a man.

 

The childhood scenes go on for a solid portion of the movie. At least the first twenty minutes. We meet young Dough Boy and Ricky, two brothers who are completely different in their approach to life, even when they are just kids. Dough Boy is the tough fat guy who is street wise, but not afraid to get hurt. And Ricky is the nice guy athlete. At the end of the childhood portion of the film, furious and Tre are driving home, listening to the song “ooh child,” on the radio as they pass the house of the brothers and see Dough Boy being handcuffed and taken away in a police car. It’s a very powerful scene, with the music playing right along to it, and a clear setup of what the future of this character will be. This is one of the great moments of the movie, very sad, and filmed with all the right shots of the characters’ reactions. It’s a very upsetting, but deep way to end the childhood material.

 

And after that we start the young adult scenes with doughboy (now played by ice cube), playing dominoes with his friends at a BBQ party. The part is to celebrate Dough Boy’s release from prison, and the idea is that he has probably been in and out of prison again and again since the last time we saw him, being taken away in that police car. Tre, now played by Cuba Gooding Jr., walks into the yard, dressed in his yellow and black stylized outfit, and we meet the girl he’s seeing, played by Nia long. We also meet the street girl who hangs out with Dough Boy’s crew, played by Regina king (the actress who would later play Cuba Gooding Jr’s powerful wife in Jerry Mcguire).

 

Tre hangs out at the BBQ for a little bit, trying to play mind games with his girl and watching them back fire. Then he takes a plate of food back to his house to give to furious. This leads to the two of them sitting down for a heart to heart about the birds and the bees. We got to see a sex talk between furious and Tre during the childhood scenes, and now we get another one here with Tre as a young man. These scenes are fun and entertaining, but they are also a little uncomfortable, watching the boy talk to his dad about it. Still, Furious is Mr. Cool and he’s got good advice for his son. Tre tells his father a story about one time having sex with a girl without a condom, and we get to watch what happened that one day in flashback, as Tre nearly got shot at by the girl’s grandmother.

 

All of this has a purpose, because Tre is lying to his father, making the whole story up, and really is thinking a lot about having sex with his girl. But he hasn’t done it yet, as he reveals in the car to Ricky (now played by Morris Chestnut). He and Nia Long go back and forth debating the issue of how she is a catholic girl and whether or not he has to use a condom with her. And through all these conversations and debating there are helicopters flying right overhead, creating great amounts of noise and flashing lights into the windows. When Tre steps out to go for a ride with Ricky, the two of them are pulled over and harassed by cops. It’s a bad place to be, living in this hood as a young black male.

 

After the sex portion of the film, the next part is about violence. So far we have only been teased with violence in this movie. A furious shoots through a door at a burglar when Tre is young (and we get a great shot through the bullet holes), and a young Dough Boy gets beat up by older kids. But the real violence starts when Ricky and Tre go taking a ride out to crimshaw, a place where they definitely don’t belong. That’s where they have a run in with another crew that leads to threats, gun pulling, and a machine gun blasting off shots into the air.

 

This is just the start of the violence. It’s like an introduction. Ricky goes on to meet with a college recruiter, who is impressed by the boy’s football skills, but shocked to see that Ricky has a son. Still the scholarship is on the table and is there if Ricky does decent on his SAT’s. And then the real violence appears. There is drive by shooting and execution style murders as Dough Boy gets involved and some of the more innocent characters come across deadly situations.

 

The intensity certainly builds in this movie and the tension gets tighter and tighter. The end puts Tre put in some very difficult decisions, wanting to kill more than anything else in the world and having to get past furious first. The movie gets gritty and heart stopping powerful. It’s upsetting, sure, but the intensity and realism of it all keeps us glued to the screen. The street violence here is ten times more powerful than it was in baby boy, menace II society, or any other hood movie. That’s because this movie isn’t trying to be artistic. It’s trying to be real.

 

Boyz N The Hood is one of the most intense movies around. Violence in cinema is nothing new, but this movie puts the violence in places we don’t really expect. Characters die that should have never been anywhere near it, and we are left with our jaws dropping to the ground. The movie is smart enough to know that spending time with these characters as they hang out on the porch will be entertaining. But it also knows that there needs to be a strong adult character to help Tre figure things out. Fishbourne’s furious is that character and he plays the man to perfection. The movie has so much going for it. There are a number of scenes that are powerful enough to make a grown man tear up. The intensity is real, and all the more emotional because of it’s gritty nature. This movie is a masterpiece of urban film. It’s better than Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, which is the other, all time great movie about black people in a bad neighborhood. Both movies are terrific, but Boyz N The Hood stands on it’s own as the best film, in this genre, of all time.