Rating (3 of 5 stars)
Another in a series of mildly entertaining coming of age movie. The director/writer fail to create a strong emotional connection to the hero.
Plot: A thirteen year old boy Stevie (Sunny Suljic) establishes friends with some skaters during the summer.
What I Liked: The fun and heart of this movie is in the relationship between 5 the boys pictured above. There are great moments as Stevie hangs with them at the skate park, the store, a party, etc. These are best moments of the movie.
There is some tension created between the boys. Ruben (Gio Galicia) becomes jealous of Stevie and his relationship with the older boys. There is also conflict between the two leaders Ray (Na-kel Smith) and Fuckshit (Olan Prenatt) as the start to split ways, one on to success and one doomed for failure.
The scene near the end of the film where Ray talks to Stevie after his mom comes to the shop was good. He explains the details behind the boys we didn’t know but missing an opportunity for Stevie to explain why he felt the way he did about his mom and brother.
What I Didn’t Like: The difficulties of his home life are not fully explained. At a mere hour and 24 minutes, we had some time to elaborate on his home life for the viewer. His brother seem to beat on him, but Stevie wasn’t very respectful to him. He betrays his brother to his mom, so I understood why his beats him a little.
His mother seemed to really care about him and tried to talk to him, so why he was as disrespectful to her wasn’t clear. The movie inferred the mother changed her behaviors when Stevie was a baby. They implied Stevie’s mom was not a good mother to her brother and this is why the older brother is mean to Stevie. Stevie didn’t know this. It peaked my interest in knowing more about the brother than Stevie.
His a mom drove to the skate shop and ask/yell at his sons friends to not give him alcohol, drugs and sex. She cared enough to intervene and Fuckshit disrespectful to her. In the end, I didn’t like Stevie. It is hard to enjoy a movie where you don’t like or agree with the hero.
Outside of the stories about the boys being skateboarders, I didn’t understand the point to the movie. I am sure the final scene was supposed to be the awe inspiring message that all left us thinking “Gosh that was the greatest” but it missed the mark by a lot. I wanted a moment when Stevie himself grew a little but it never came. Stevie was a douche.
Scott made a comment when we left the movie, that with the 90’s soundtrack they had, the movie felt more like a movie video than a complete film, which I agree with whole heartedly.
Conclusion: A good collection of scenes of boys interacting with one another and showing the 90’s skateboard scene. The movie fails to show any growth in the characters and failed to connect the audience to hero. If you are a fan of the coming of the age movie, then rush out to see this film. If not, save your money and wait for it to appear in a streaming service.