Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Written By: Jordan Melamed
Based on the Novel By: Nick McDonell
Cinematography By: Steven Fierberg
Editor: Paul Zucker & Gordon Grinberg
CAST: Chace Crawford, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Emma Roberts, Rory Culkin, Zoe Kravitz, Kiefer Sutherland, Ellen Barkin, Emily Meade, Isiah Whitlock, Erik Per Sullivan
A young drug dealer watches as his high-rolling life is dismantled in the wake of his cousin’s murder, which sees his best friend arrested for the crime.
I wasn’t expecting much from this film and wasn’t too disappointed. It is better then I thought it would be considering the not so great buzz it had already accumulated. It ended up being passable sure it had it’s problems but it kept my interest until the end. You’ve seen the film and it’s characters before. But I can see why the material which began as a bestselling book attracted studios to make it.
The narration done by Kiefer Sutherland is masterful and contains passages from the book that sound good. The film that comes out of it is supposed to give you a bird’s eye view of private school students and their lives but while half the time it seems to be going for shocking which it might have been once upon a time but now it feels normal like it is reveling in the behavior of the characters. It comes off as a more of a more scandalous version of GOSSIP GIRL since it has narration and a star of the show in a starring role.
What hurts the film is that it introduces characters and we follow them but never really get insight into what they think we might get lucky and get a glimpse but soon it is dropped. So that we never see the after effects of the behavior and what damage it will have on their lives except for the lead character of white Mike.
Even the murder not so mystery plot line felt a little forced to give the audience something to wait for when the characters find out. I will give it to Joel Schumacher this is better then his last few films. Here though he tries to go for gritty but with a sheen and most of the characters are way too good looking to be believable teenagers. It reminds me of his work in ST. ELMO’S FIRE This could have been a brat pack movie only that films problems weren’t as life threatening as the ones here.
The film is mostly a success but the material feels rather thin. It is well photographed. Though certain scenes feel like they are going overboard to impress and be artistic. None of the actors embarrass themselves though Chace Crawford looks like he only grew the beard to look tough.
Emma Roberts is in the film to play the good girl, But that’s it she represents purity in all this dark world so she more or less plays an ideal instead of a character
A Satisfying rental, But no need to go out of your way to see it.