Thursday, February 08, 2007
Wassup Rockers - review
Wassup Rockers (15)
Dir. Larry Clark
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Wow, nobody does teens like Larry Clark, he does ‘em in Kids, Bully, Another Day In Paradise, Ken Park… Now he’s back and doing another bunch in…*what’s that?* sorry, have just been asked by my lawyers to clarify that when I say ‘does teens’ I’m not implying any actual inappropriate activities – other than shooting lingering close ups of their often naked bodies…
But Wassup Rockers sees the normally ‘perv level 10’ Clark in a more restrained mood. The teens featured here are a bunch of Salvadorean / Guatemalan punkers living in broken homes somewhere in deepest, darkest South Central LA… They have no cash, they have no prospects but they do have skateboards and so they skate, party, drink, fight, hit on chicks and hang out discussing the world as they see it. It’s actually a compelling insight into their world, filmed in an almost documentary way that really works.
Wassup Rockers is the film for anyone whose ever wanted to really get under the skin of a bunch of Hispanic boys, outsiders in their own hood where being misunderstood is part of their lives. There’s charismatic Jonathan, lead singer of their noisy but talentless band, bully magnet Milton, who they call ‘spermball’ even though he hates the nickname and young Kico, who is on a constant mission to get laid. The meatiest part of the film is when the kids invade the rich white neighbourhoods of Beverly Hills and run into all kinds of scrapes. Cue a Warriors lite battle home which features attitude problems and fisticuffs from a bunch of Beverly Hills bullies, a gay guy with a ‘take it by force if necessary’ attitude to their young male backsides and even one getting shot by an aging actor who looks like Clint Eastwood and has the moral code of Charlton Heston… Sure things take a while to get going but by the end of the movie there has been a sufficient number of shootings, beatings, racial abuse, into racial sexual shenanigans, skating and an obligatory few thrash punk efforts.
The fact that it works at all is amazing, I guess it works because it keeps it (almost) real and makes points by allowing the audience to build up a level of affinity with these disaffected youths – before tossing them into a meat grinder of modern life in the USA.
Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action ööö – slow to begin but it picks up
Laughs öö – some fun to be had here but not much
Horror öö – doesn’t really shock or awe
Babes öö – couple of cuties e.g. Laura Cellner but too young!!
Overall ööö (boys will be boys)
"concerned parents look away now... these two have only just met"
Darkmatters: H O M E
Posted by Matt Adcock at 1:36 pm