KicksAnd you have now put it on my radar. Is this the correct film? If so, I'm curious why the IMDB rating is so low. What do you think is causing the backlash and why do you disagree with it.
This movie needs some love guys.
If you only see one film about troubled masculinity in the African-American community, watch Moonlight, but by all means try to watch two and see Kicks because it another excellent exploration of the topic. Teenager Brandon (Jahking Guillory) doesn't feel tough and doesn't have the money for the shoes he feels will earn him respect. When he is able to get his hands on a pair of shoes, it looks like things are going to turn around for him when he's attacked by some toughs and his shoes are taken away. Thus he sets out on a mission to reclaim his shoes and prove his mettle.
A lesson of the film may well be that if your self-worth is tied up in something that can so easily be taken from you, it is both a facade and something you'll always be on guard of losing. In the form of toxic masculinity, what we see from these men (boys really) is a total lack of proportionality. Every possible slight must be escalated, lest you become the "bitch." As the observers, we watch in dread that these individuals are going to let it get the best of them.
Mahershala Ali, like in Moonlight, delivers a strong supporting performance as the sage, older male role model with his own background in the harsh world. While it contemplates masculinity, this film isn't quite as transgressive of it as Moonlight, which results in more stereotypical roles for women, and no stand outs, but I don't know that it is a major mark against the film. The surreal aspects are a little more of a burden just because I don't find them really earning their keep. Still, on the whole it is quite a powerful film to pair Moonlight in joining the pantheon of films like Boyz In The Hood in critiquing gangster masculinity.