29 May 2007

Mean Creek

Closing off my recent bout of violence voyeurism is Mean Creek and it is clearly the superior choice to the previous two reviews.

Do you remember your lurid school-age fantasies about the cruel and embarrassing come-uppance of the classroom bully (boy and/or girl)? Mean Creek takes a very realistic approach to a topic that everyone, regardless of generation or location, can relate to and remember (except perhaps, if you spent your childhood being home-schooled on a deserted island). The acting and script is spot on – the kids behave like real kids, the dialog is realistic, and it seems like the writer actually knew something about adolescent psychology.

George, played by Josh Peck, is truly screwed up and obnoxious. He’s a big fat kid with a big fat mouth and attitude to match. It’s also pretty clear that he has some major psychological issues but he never exhibits a minimum level of humanity to anyone that would lead to empathizing with his condition. Simply put: it’s easy not to like him. Rory Culkin is Sam, the small skinny kid who gets the piss beat out of him by George. Sam’s revenge fantasy is taken up by his older brother’s group of friends and a plan is hatched is teach George a lesson. True to Robert Burns, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry” and everyone involved starts to make some very foolish choices. Definitely worth a watch.

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