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ALPHA DOG by Nick Cassavetes


Life is a party for Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsch) and his friends. They spend their days with drug dealing, parties, sexy girls and a lot of swearing. And they think they are the coolest gangstas in town. But after a drug deal gone wrong Johnny wants to see money from Jake (Ben Foster). Because cursing and jostling alone seems not sufficient, Johnny kidnaps Jake’s little brother Zack to increase the pressure. But neither Johnny nor buddy Frankie (Justin Timberlake) have the slightest idea they just committed a serious crime – and they have also no idea what to do with their hostage. So they just drag the boy along and let him hang out with them and their friends (and girlfriends), “chilling”, drinking, doing drugs, cursing a lot and making out with the girls, and Zack isn’t really frightened – he enjoys this lifestyle that’s so different from his parents’ (Sharon Stone and David Thornton) “boring” good home.
When Johnny finally realizes that kidnapping is a real crime and he will go to prison for it, there are already more than three dozen witnesses who have seen him with Zack. Party time is over …

Based on the true story of Jesse James Hollywood ALPHA DOG comes with the look and feel of a semi-documentary.
And that suggests there are actually people in the real world like Johnny Truelove and his friends (and enemies). And that’s probably the sad truth. Adolescents who think they are really tough and cool because they deal with drugs, behave like gangstas and swear more and better than others, when they are in fact useless losers with the intellectual abilities of really dumb cavemen who wet their pants when they finally realize that the world does not turn solely around only them and they may have to face the consequences of their irresponsible behavior. You probably know the type – cowards with a big mouth as long as the other guy is smaller than them.
You don’t want to be around people like that (except maybe when you are a blonde bimbo who gets turned on by this kind of behavior because it seems to be really cool and masculine).
And that’s one of the biggest problems of the film – you are spending two hours watching all dislikable characters, the young Zack the only exception. And what do you get in exchange? The message that drugs and alcohol are bad (but also a lot of fun), and that you should thank God when your kids are not like those in the movie (and that it may be time to check out with whom your sons and daughters are spending their time with).
It’s not the actors’ fault – the performances are fine, but that’s not enough to make a good film. It just raises ALPHA DOG slightly above TV Reality Movie of the Week-standards. And you could spend two hours of time with people you like instead of watching this – tough choice!

Alpha Dog trailer

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