As someone who aspires to eventually get into the film industry myself, I cannot help but envy director John Singleton, who at age 24 became the youngest ever Oscar nominee for Best Director for this, Boyz n the Hood, his debut work. He also wrote the film, and even got another nomination for Original Screenplay while he was at it… so there. But yeah, I didn’t know what to expect from this one, other than a gang-related picture, solely based on the stylization of the film’s title. I guess it was a good thing that I went into it without too many expectations (or any at all, really); the film didn’t let me down in that regard, but neither was it particularly amazing.
The film follows a small group of youths in South Central Los Angeles, then jumps ahead seven years to see what these same youths’ lives are like now that they are maturing into young adults. The main focal point is Tre, played by Cuba Gooding, Jr., who at the start of the film ends up getting dropped off at his dad’s house by his mother after one too many fights at school. His dad, played remarkably well by Laurence Fishburne, turns out to be a rather competent father, which is something Tre’s friends Doughboy (Ice Cube) and Chris don’t seem to have, though Ricky at least has football to keep his mind centered. Naturally, things don’t turn out quite as planned for everyone, mostly thanks to the rough neighborhood the boys live in. I’ve gone into the plot a little further for the same reason I’ve done so in the past; I have a lack of anything to say about this one. All I can say is that it was very well done, and I enjoyed it the whole way through. That, and I’m definitely for John Singleton having gotten both the nominations he did, as they were the strongest points in the film, in addition to the casting.
Actually, there is something I could bring up in regards to this film; I didn’t really understand why the timeskip was even necessary. The plot basically introduces everybody and their main motivations, and then jumps ahead seven years to the actual meat of the plot. This was a story that could’ve easily been converted so that we are introduced to the characters in the “seven years later” time period; the time skip seemed to have no purpose. Other than that, though, there was very little not to like about this one, even if I ended up not having very much to say about it. Give it a chance if you’ve been meaning to, or if you haven’t; either way, you could find worse ways to spend a couple hours.
Arbitrary Rating: 8/10