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Movie Review Time: MENACE II SOCIETY (1993) Starring Tyrin Turner

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

First off I know this movie was released in 1993 making it almost 20 years old now, that’s quite hard to believe right?  This was the second movie I watched this night and funnily enough it was the second movie where Samuel L Jackson got killed, that doesn’t happen to often does it?  I’ll give you the circumstances were slightly different he got shot here due to drug differences and in the movie before he got eaten by a Shark.

Starring: Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Samuel L Jackson

The Plot

Caine Lawson (Turner) is a young street hustler who has grown up watching his father Tat (Jackson) deal drugs and his mother addicted to them.  He was never far from violence and even witnessed his father kill someone over a debt.  Lawson ends up living with his grandparents but can’t help but be drawn into the way of street life along with his best friend O-Dog (Tate).  Lawson decides it’s time to get out the ghetto and move to Atlanta with his girlfriend Ronnie (Pinkett-Smith) but is he to late?

The Verdict

Dark, gritty, violent, alarming and enjoyable this movie really showcases it’s title.  Menace II Society is exactly what it says and the young street hustlers could not be more menacing.  Straight from the off when the Asian shop keeper and his wife get shot up by O-Dog, it’s not so much the shooting that gets you, it’s the pure unnerving attitude shown towards it by O-Dog.  No emotion and the shops CCTV is used by him as a trophy to show to his friends how much of a man he is for the rest of the movie.

Like I said above, this movie came out in 1993 and I seen it probably mid nineties.  At school at the time that was probably the cool thing to do watch this or Boyz In The Hood.  I didn't really remember to much about it from then other than it was more violent than Boyz In The Hood and that's why I decided to watch it again.  I'm pleased I did, as you soon learn is not just about guns and violence it's simply a way of life for some of these youngsters who are shown only one direction by their parents.

O-Dog kills quite a few people during this movie and most of the time it's over nothing more than them showing him no respect, Larenz Tate plays this part superbly adding a little humour to the most loose cannon of characters.  The scene in the alley where the guy is trying to trade off a cheeseburger for some drugs makes you laugh he also offers up something else causing O-Dog to shoot him before picking up the bag and saying "anyone for cheeseburgers".

As far as "Hood" movies go this is surely one of the best, not knowing what the situation is like this certainly brings it home to you.  Menace II Society will probably be granted as one of the best movies ever made and it's thoroughly worthy of it's title.

Would I watch it again? 

I think I may have answered that one already, although catching it on TV these days is a rarity.

Rating: MMMMM

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