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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

White Boy Rick 2018 * * * Stars

White Boy RickDirector: Yann Demange
Year: 2018
Rated R
Rating: * * * Stars
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Richie Merritt, Jennifer Jason Leigh

"You're going to get in too deep and they're never gonna let you out". The ugly, gun-toting flick I'm about to review is palatable but it doesn't quite get deep enough. Did I mention that it's drug-fueled too?

Anyway, White Boy Rick is a non-fiction endeavor that allows Bruce Dern little screen time and portrays 80's Detroit as a gloom and doom vista view. With scenes that only rear themselves in the winter time, "White Boy" features Matthew McConaughey and newcomer Richie Merritt giving fantastic father and son performances. It also has McConaughey and Rory Cochrane reuniting in a pic after nearly 25 years (remember Dazed and Confused?)

Image result for White boy rick movie scenesAs far as fall releases go in 2018, "White Boy" teases but it never really takes off from a dramatic standpoint (despite some raw acting and a little family dysfunction). That doesn't mean I'm not gonna recommend it.

White Boy Rick chronicles the three-year span of one Richard Wershe Jr. At the wide-eyed age of 14, Rick became the youngest FBI informant ever. Wershe eventually got caught for selling cocaine and was sentenced to life in prison. Rick gets shot, becomes a father, hustles like a seasoned veteran, and learns to cut crack all before the age of 17. Talk about an early dose of life experiences.

"White Boy" as harbored character study and choppily edited catalyst, cuts corners with Rick's drug dealing plight even though the main character is in almost every frame. Oh well. "White Boy's" director (Yann Demange) creates a movie that's darkly dense, rift with diverting sleaze, and rich in its sense of time and place. There's nastiness, atmospherics, and danger all around.

Image result for White boy rick movie scenesSure Demange's storytelling sensibilities go off-kilter and yes, his ending makes you salivate for a little more reverence (as does the presence of the supporting Matthew McConaughey). Still, White Boy Rick has heightened, old school soundtrack and escapism residuals. Its Scarface/Boogie Nights pigeon is slightly more caustic than being just black and "white". My rating: 3 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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