Top positive review
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Juice is too sweet to put down!
on 25 June 2007
Juice is an excellent movie that I never get tired watching. Guns and respect go hand-in-hand in the ghetto, and "Juice" dares to tell this to a mainstream audience. Although the story is told in a Hollywood manner you never doubt the events that take place haven't happened in reality at some point (except maybe the end). We meet our main characters through a montage which establishes the basic setting of the film. They are four black teenagers who live in Harlem, yet the way in which Dickerson depicts the atmosphere is not Gothic and pessimistic, just realistic.
First there's Q (Epps), a relatively quiet kid who aims to be a professional rap deejay someday, but he seems to be the only one who believes in himself. Then there's Bishop (Shakur), who's short-tempered, hyperactive, and apparently fearless. He always seems to be harassed by a Puerto Rican street gang, but he welcomes their violent challenges. It's hard to tell if he's doing it to keep his rep, or if he's got a death wish. There's also Steel (Hopkins), the generic funny-but-fat kid of the group whom the others constantly pick on. Finally, there's Raheem (Kain), the mediator of the group who seems the most responsible, although he does have an illegitimate child.
For the first 45 minutes there is almost no plot, just sheer character development and it's interesting to watch because it's a nice change of pace and the acting is superb. These four young men are an interesting group of characters as the script and their improvisation makes for great camaraderie. Few films are as driven by the acting as this film is. The heist scene is pulled off beautifully, and we realize how much of a talent we lost through Tupac's death. This is one of the best movies that Paramount gave us during the 1990s. The directing and script is also brilliant. In fact Tupac did one of the best acting jobs I've seen any musician do. I mean that guy did the best crazy-villain role I've ever seen..... well probably along side Wesley Snipe in New Jack City.
From the first shot to the last, JUICE is a heist flick set in a time where TRUE Hip-Hop was king. It makes me long for the days. I believe this movie was definitely a chilling reality about the ghetto's pride in respect and power. When your living in the ghetto, society automatically paints you out to be a low class individual, but this film brought to life the quest of 4 young men who wanted a name for themselves and did not just want to be another statistic or face in the crowd. Unfortunately the end of their journey left them just that. Highly recommended.