film reel image

film reel image

Friday, August 5, 2022

Sons 2 the Grave 2022 * 1/2 Stars


A promising, cocky young basketball star headed for the pros, can't escape the gray areas of his downtrodden neighborhood. Who's he gonna play for in the NBA? We don't know. Why does he still associate with the stench of the hood? He point shaves I guess. Why does he still hang out at his digs via the wrong side of NYC's tracks? You tell me. Call all of it the gist of 2022's Sons 2 the Grave. As Danny Glover's Richard Murtaugh would say, "that's pretty thin".

Sons 2 the Grave feels like an unintentional Afterschool Special when it should be a hard-hitting drama. You can tell. "Grave's" helmer (Lynne Stoltz) handles the material with almost too much care, teetering on the edge of being dangerous but ultimately fluttering when it really counts. Lynne's direction is standard here and the atmospherics, well they should have been a little more unwashed. 

Sons 2 the Grave has Stoltz as writer, director, and producer. You can't really call "Grave" a vanity project because well, she is a full-blown rookie and had to cut some teeth. Lynne's film despite its mobbed up subject matter, is virtually anticlimatic and almost glossed over. You have to wonder what would have become of "Grave" had Spike Lee, Mario Van Peebles, or the reclusive Ernest Dickerson got a hold of the deets. 

Sons 2 the Grave stars Trevor Jackson, Maria Howell, and Brad James. Their performances aren't lousy but they come off as pigeonhole personas that you see in almost every crime drama. Ditto for the side characters as well. Probably on the dole, probably drifting, and probably high school idlers, they act a fool and make "Grave" a misguided attempt at telling an urban tale. Bottom line: If you plan on seeing Sons 2 the Grave, don't tell anyone (like I did). Just take it to the "grave". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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