Rated: R Due to graphic violence and sex. Reviewed by: Frank Release date: September 28, 1994 Released by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
This is a warm, exciting love story between Jason Alexander (Allen Payne) and Lyric Greer (Jada Pinkett) played in a violent, heavy atmosphere which hangs like a sulphur cloud through out the film.
Director Doug McHenry displays an understanding of violence and the gentleness of love going on at the same time. His work rips at the gut and tugs at the heart.
The two young lovers meet by chance and begin to fall in love. What is different at McHenry's hands is the gentle courtship which occurs before sex. They walk together, watch the sun set, pick flowers, and he pours water on her feet. There is romance in their attraction and when they participate in very open and visible sex it holds a beauty, gentleness and passion that is believable and comfortable to watch. Greer and Pinkett are attractive young stars who show depth and reality in their characters. They are extraordinary to watch.
Jason's brother, Joshua (Bokeem Woodbine), has been limited from childhood. When their father, Maddog (Forrest Whitaker), attacks their mother while he is in a drunken stupor one of the kids shoots and kills him. Jason grows up and rejects the violence, crime, drugs and booze that destroyed his father. Joshua becomes like him and joins a gang who steal and strip cars and plans a bank robbery. The leader of the gang is Lyric's brother.
With excellent direction and quality performances, this is a modern Romeo and Juliet framed by the danger in the wasted lives and violence of their relatives and friends which should be seen.