Top critical review
Racism exposed, not very sutble, though.
on October 26, 2002
This is an OK movie because of Norton and Furlong. Pretty good direction, too. But if you're a real movie afficianado, you'll find this flick's messages are so overt that it's almost hard to be entertained by the story.
For a better discussion of racism in the US, check out Spike Lee's "Bamboozled."
In any case, the PC messages in this movie will make it dated in a decade or so, when PC switches to some other causes, or people no longer understand late-90s morale qualities. Hatred and racism will always be around to one degree or another, but the peculiarities of our times won't.
Norton's switch from buff evil Nazi to equal equality commando was a bit quick. It's not like he'd never seen blacks or minorities or known them growing up in Venice Beach, CA. Then he gets to prison and just one guy turns him around?
Overall, it's a pretty good movie showing why race hatred is stupid. The biggest fault I have is them showing the brutality with which Norton defended his property as being a bad thing. It's not! You don't steal people's rides! As a blue-collar guy, that pickup truck may be the only thing that gets him to work. Work is the only thing that feeds his family. Theft of a car is a direct assault on the safety of a man's family, therefor anyone caught red-handed stealing a vehicle deserves to be curbed.
-- JJ Timmins