Menace II Society (1993)


Tyrin Turner stars as Caine, son of a drug dealer and junkie, raised by his grandparents in the projects and typical product of the ‘hood.

The Hughes brothers’ film of life on the streets of L.A. is one of the many released after the burgeoning mainstream popularity of hip hop in the early 1990’s. It is a film with a message, namely that the same cycle of crime and violence is repeated through the mistakes of each generation and a youth without hope inevitably turns to crime as an “easy” way to escape poverty. The film is inevitably a little dated and there is a certain level of glamorisation, the love scene in particular coming across as a chart R’n’B video. The main flaw is in the fact that the characters are so self-centred and obnoxious that it’s difficult to care about them, but I guess that’s also part of the message; take away a man’s respect for himself and others and you take away his reason to live. It certainly has some good moments and its intentions are genuine but the dialogue is a stream of cliched ghetto speak and the ending very contrived.

Well worth a look, but Dead Presidents’ more mature and involved approach makes it far superior film.



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