If growing up in the Inland Empire, tattooing your scrawny body and smoking pot all day makes you a gangsta, the cast of ‘Alpha Dog’ should be feared.
‘Alpha Dog,’ written and directed by Nick Cassavetes (‘The Notebook,’ ‘John Q’), is based on real events of the life of Jesse James Hollywood, one of the youngest people to ever appear on the FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitive list.
The movie opens on ringleader Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsch) and his posse of wannabe gangsters partying it up in Truelove’s suburban home.
Truelove, a pretty-boy-looking lad, is meant to be the Scarface or Godfather of his crew, but he falls extremely short on the intimidation factor. His right hand man is none other than Frankie Ballenbacher (Justin Timberlake).
Truelove earns his lavish lifestyle as a prominent drug supplier through connections from his father, Sonny Truelove (Bruce Willis), who coincidently is known to have ties with the Mafia.
As the G-U-not posse parties it up and gets high, Jake Mazursky (Ben Foster), a tough, eccentric speed addict who probably is the only real gangster in the movie, enters to have a private conversation with Truelove.
Mazursky tells Truelove about a drug deal that has gone bad and the conversation ends in a brawl that looks strangely like a scene in the television show ‘The Bad Girls Club.’
Not surprisingly, Mazursky and Truelove become enemies and participate in a series of immature acts to ruin each other.
While Truelove hides in the bathroom, Mazursky defecates on Truelove’s living room carpet while his buddies trash Truelove’s home.
The plot thickens when Truelove and friends see Mazursky’s half-brother, Zach (Anton Yelchin). On a whim, they kidnap him and hold him hostage in retaliation.
The next hour is dedicated to the dynamic between Frankie and Zach, who starts to form relationships with others in Truelove’s circle.
Truelove then calls a lawyer who tells Truelove that kidnapping is enough for a life sentence in prison. Truelove is definitely in a pickle. What’s a gangsta to do?
He then offers his friends money to kill the boy. However, Frankie, having developed a real caring relationship with Zach, refuses to do the dirty deed.
The suspense revolves around the uncertainty and hesitation to kill their new young friend. Who will be the one to prove their loyalty?
This movie is a joke. It is worse than ‘8 Mile.’ At least Eminem can pull off the hard-and-edgy attitude. There was a major lack of convincing hardships and all the gangstas were middle-class white kids living in a suburban community.
These kids are bored and have nothing else to do but to smoke pot and talk about having sex with women.
They even have the nerve to call out black rappers in music videos as phonies who know nothing of the ‘hard life.’
You’ll want to walk out halfway through the movie because you are so annoyed by these wannabes, and Timberlake does not encourage you to stay in your seat.
If you ever watched the episode of ‘Punk’d’ when Timberlake was the target, you will know what I’m talking about.
He absolutely did not do his character justice. He had a horrible urban accent and was not at all intimidating.
Every other word from his mouth was an obscenity, which made it seem like he was trying way too hard.
It is reasonable to assume that Timberlake was cast in his role because of his infamous urban attitude that switches on every time a nonwhite audience surrounds him.
Justin, honey, stick to something you’re good at.
In a sense, he could be thought of as comic relief. Every time he opened his mouth to say something stupid, I couldn’t help but laugh.
On a more serious note, this movie is entirely chauvinistic and unfair in its depiction of women as whiny and brainless with the sole purpose of sexually serving their male dominators.
In one scene that takes place in a hotel pool, two young women enter a threesome with Zach, knowing that he is only 15 years old. They think the fact that he was kidnapped is sexy and call him ‘Stolen Boy’ for kicks.
What normal young woman would ever have sex with a kid, let alone have a threesome in a pool? Yes, these girls were drunk and probably cracked out but that does not excuse the rest of the women in this movie.
Even a mother of an upper-middle class home ignores her daughter when she tries to tell her of the Mazursky kidnapping. The mother disregards her daughter’s plea to talk so that she may return to her sexual activities that her daughter so inconveniently interrupted.
For the men out there who have no respect for women, this is your movie. For the women out there who aspire to become prostitutes or sexual servants, this is your training video.
Maybe Justin will leave you some pointers about living a thug life.