Juice is an action and crime movie released in 1992, with the story and direction by Ernest R. Dickerson. It tells the journey of four black teenagers in a quest for respect in their neighborhood.
Hello, there! I’m dos Santos, and this is Ulven Reviews, with Movies and series from all over the world and all eras. Today we’ll talk about Juice, beginning with a plot summary, through the review, and finishing with a symbolic Rating. Here we go!
Q (played by Omar Epps) is a young local DJ trying to reach higher prestige in the career. He and his friends Steel (played by Jermaine Hopkins), Raheem (played by Khalil Kain), and Bishop (played by Tupac Shakur) use to skip school to fuck around in the neighborhood.
Bishop is the one with the most ambition for “street respect” and convinces the other to make a robbery in a convenience store on the same night Q gets his first big opportunity to gain more wide-spread notoriety in the DJ world. The idea was using Q’s presentation as an alibi for their crime.
Well, things didn’t go as planned.
Juice has a simple and straightforward plot and theme. Both Q and Bishop want to ascend and be respected, but their idea of respect and how to achieve it are opposites. Relatively early, the conflict between these two views begins and only intensifies along the ride.
I was surprised by the tone shift of the movie, which begins very fun and upbeat. When it gets to the conflict I mentioned, it goes completely wild and dark. I think this change of tone worked great. It makes you feel more intensely about everything that happens after.
Juice is an easy movie to watch, those that you don’t see the time passing. It will provide you some laughs, thrills, surprises, but I think what we feel the most with Juice is tension. There’s some action also, but it’s not over the top. Since I’m not a big action fan, it’s cool enough for me.
In the first act, the group of friends has a lot of fun, showing togetherness, care for each other, and we can notice that they are just average teenagers. None of them is the most popular, the toughest, or too much of a womanizer.
By that time, all of them are likable boys, and their normality makes them even more relatable. The most prominent one is Q, of course, since he’s the protagonist and I really liked him. And at first, I was enjoying Bishop as well, and the fact that he was played by Tupac helped a lot.
From the second act on, things change, the tensions are rising, and the dynamics between characters shift as well. Q becomes even more likable, someone who we can cheer for, while Bishop becomes the antagonist. Ultimately, Bishop is really hateful. Somewhat of a psychopath, that only needed the first step to becoming a maniac.
Tupac’s interpretation of Bishop is just flawless, and I would say it’s my favorite thing of the movie by far. He gives some unforgettable moments like the “I tell yo mamma you ain’t shit”, and he dissociated the character of his real self.
As far as I can remember, this is his best performance. Seeing how outstanding he was, I can’t help but feel that we (the public) were deprived of his talent, especially as an actor. As a rapper, he left a bunch of recordings, but since his death, we weren’t able to see any new roles from him, and we will never know his full acting potential.
Omar Epps, on the other hand, is still kicking. I believe I already said I like him in the review of The Wood. I think his performance in Juice is also outstanding, making him a worthy protagonist. He does well both in the fun parts as well as in the tensest, serious ones.
Then, there’s Samuel L. Jackson playing Trip. It’s irrelevant to explain who the character is and how good is the performance. It’s just there, almost pointless. It’s like on the FIFA games when you make a substitution near the end, so the player has few minutes on the pitch and doesn’t get a rating.
Everything else is pretty average. There’s nothing that I remember that is of poor quality, but there isn’t anything that deserves mentioning in praise, as well.
Juice is a decent and really simple movie. The best thing is the acting, the performances alone make it worth watching it and if wasn’t for it, it would be quite unremarkable. I’ll give Juice 7 Moons.
That’s it for now.
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