Alpha Dog dir. by

17 May 2007

Cast: , , , , , , , ,
Rated :

based on the true story of Jess James Hollywood
You know this film isn’t half bad. I went to see it expecting a somewhat mindless popcorn film. But is actually a fairly watchable, half way decent flick.

Johnny Truelove and his pals are half-arsed weed-dealer-kids, hanging out and doing drugs, making money through dealing. But when real bad-boy Jake Mazursky owes money to Truelove things begin to escalate, leading to Truelove and “his boys” kidnapping Jake’s half brother. But the 15 year old Zack doesn’t seem like much of a victim. He gets to live the life of drugs, drink and parties; he is having a good time. But the kidnapping was a spur of the moment thing, and when he consults his lawyer Truelove realises that the implications may be quite serious.

His solution? Why get rid of the hostage of course.

Most of the film consists of the “boys” hanging out, having a good time, getting stoned, watching video games and playing games. But of course you know that it isn’t going to end happily. The opening scene is an interview with Johnny Truelove’s father, there is a time line, and every peripheral character is identified as a witness. You know that trouble can’t be far away.

Surprisingly, all the actors do a good job. Hirsch reminded me a little too much of Leonardo diCaprio for some reason, but played his role well. Timberlake had little to do for much of the film, handing around, getting high, but in the final scenes he was really good as his character suddenly realises what he has gotten himself into. Anton Yelchin, playing Zach, was perfectly cast as he comes across as a nice boy, likeable and innocent. But it is Foster who really steals the show as the violent and unpredictable Jake. Sharon Stone too does a great job, although the make-up effects in the interview scenes felt a little too much for me.

It isn’t an excellent film, but there is plenty to like about it.

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6 Responses

  1. sir jorge says:

    I saw this in theaters and it is a great story.

    I also saw the Unsolved Mysteries program about the whole thing too.

    It's a harsh movie to watch at times, but that's the nature of the whole situation.

  2. Zhu says:

    I just loved this movie ! That makes me think I have to rent it to see it again sometime…

    Hirsch reminded me a lot of DiCaprio : probably the eyes… and his cating too.

  3. Fence says:

    Sir Jorge, I really didn't know anything about the real story so was hoping for a happier ending, though I guessed it wouldn't turn out that way.

    Hi Zhu, I don't know if I'd be pushed to watch it again, but I wouldn't mind.

  4. Kelly says:

    I don't even think this movie is playing in the States, is it? Or at least, not in my neck of the woods (which isn't saying much, since my neck of the woods translates to about the size of a toddler's neck – which is a really weird analogy – sorry). But I see it has Lilly Kane in it! Lilly Kane!

  5. Kelly says:

    Hey Fencer, guess what I saw just now in the video store. Ha! I forgot to rent it, though.

  6. Fence says:

    Yup, Lilly Kane. For a whole 10 seconds after I saw her appear on screen I was totally "I know her. Who is she?" this was quickly followed by a sudden "doh!" moment