film reel image

film reel image

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Gully 2019 * 1/2 Stars


"I'm already dead". Yeah and so is the 2019 film Gully, dead on arrival. The Hughes Brothers called and guess what, they said they want their OE back. 

Anyhow the definition of gully is a ravine formed by the action of water. So OK, what the heck does Gully's title have to do with three young thugs acting a fool in rundown LA? Um, nothing really. Gully is basically Menace II Society for dummies, Boyz n the Hood without the heart, and Juice with um, rank juice. 84 minutes is the running time and there's no sense of tenor, no sense of tone. Like the ghetto birds featured in Gully, those minutes just fly by.  

Gully's director (Nabil Elderkin) has basically done music videos his entire career. Here he uses numerous flashbacks, overheads, random narration, and palm tree-d shots of Los Angeles to establish his thin, tangled narrative. It's all cut so sporadically, not giving the viewer any sort of footing or anyone to root for let alone feel any sympathy. Basically Elderkin feels the need to shoot another song integration where we have to figure out the story amidst the scorch. Dude, you can only be a showy, hot dog man for so long. 

Gully stars unknowns Kevin Harrison Jr, Jacob Latimore, and Charlie Plummer. There are also bit parts from known actors like John Corbett, Robin Givens, and Terrence Howard. No one is exactly likable, all talking roughneck, committing violent, malefactor acts, and having questionable, principled behavior. I mean it doesn't really matter when all these characters just fade in and out right? And when the film ends abruptly like a dangled loose end, will anyone involved resonate? Nope. We never eventually get accustomed to woe is me hooligans on the come-down. "Defile" is a more fitting title than Gully

Written by Jesse Burleson

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