Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 2002. Cherry Sky Films, Day O Productions, Hudson River Entertainment, MTV Films, Trailing Johnson Productions. Screenplay by Ernesto Foronda, Justin Lin, Fabian Marquez. Cinematography by Patrice Lucien Cochet. Produced by Julie Asato, Ernesto Foronda, Justin Lin. Music by Michael Gonzales, Tobin Mori. Production Design by Yoo Jung Han. Costume Design by Sandi Lieu. Film Editing by Justin Lin. Independent Spirit Awards 2003. Toronto International Film Festival 2002.
A high school student (Parry Shen) with a penchant for perfectionism works hard to achieve nothing but the best in school, then spends his evenings committing petty crime with his friends. The sense of power his little clan gets from these escapades goes to their heads and convinces them that they are powerful enough for more. Pretty soon they find themselves in some deep trouble that they might never get out of. While their situation isn’t exactly a sympathetic one (do I care if upper middle class teenagers turn to crime for fun and then get into trouble?), the story is engaging and the entire cast likeable. Most of its appeal, though, will be in its featuring a cast of Asian Americans who do not engage in martial arts or Long Duk Dong stereotypes.