Weapons Review

The older I get, the more scared of teenagers I become. Those little amoral monsters! Weapons, a 2007 Sundance pick that came and went without a trace, does nothing to ease my mind. The teens in Adam Bhala Lough embody a casual nihilistic evil so dark that it almost makes you wish for a complete planetary reboot. If these kids are the future, then let's end it all right now.

Sean (Mark Webber) returns to his scruffy SoCal home after a year of college to find that his two no-good friends, macho foulmouthed Jason (Riley Smith) and nerdy filmmaker-wannabe Chris (Paul Dano), are right where he left them, hung over, stoned, and bored. Looking for something to do on a hot useless morning, the three drive over to the basketball courts to see about a pickup game. No sooner is the ball bouncing, however, than Jason is shot squarely in the chest by a young black boy and dies on the spot. We catch only a glimpse of the crime since we are sharing the point of view of Chris, who is flirting nearby with two skanky teenage girls who are willing to make out for his videocam.

What the hell just happened? Well, at this point the film begins to backtrack rather niftily, taking us into the world of the three young black men who assassinated Jason. What was their beef? It's Reggie (Nick Cannon) who learns that his younger sister was "raped" by Jason the night before, so the natural response is to kill him, once he gets his friend Mikey (Jade Yorker) and Mikey's brother James (Brandon Smith) to help him get a gun from two tweakers in a motel room (watch out for a weird Kareem Abdul-Jabbar cameo). The funny thing here: This murder is going to make Reggie late for a job interview, and he's pissed about the glitch in his schedule.

But was Reggie's sister really raped? Once again the film circles back to the night before, and we get to attend a teenage house party that pretty much indicts every American person under the age of 20. The things these kids do to themselves and each other! It's not unlike a Bosch painting of Hell. At the party we see what Jason was up to that night, what Reggie's little sister had on her mind, and how even gunshots at the party couldn't phase these animals. Gunfire? Just an annoying interruption. Now where did the bong go?

Storywise there isn't much here. What makes the movie watchable are the strong performances of young standouts such as Webber, Cannon, and Dano and the Pulp Fictiony non-linear storytelling that can sometimes seem indulgent but works well here. This is one slice of life that I hope to never see in my town. Take my advice: When you see a group of teens coming your way, avert your eyes, spin on your heels, and head in the other direction.

With the hair and the clothes and the guns.


Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Friday 19th January 2007

Distributed by: LionsGate Entertainment

Production compaines: Pantry Films, After Dark Films


Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 4.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: Robert N. Fried, Dan Keston,

Starring: as Reggie, as Chris, as Sean, as Jason, Regine Nehy as Sabrina, as Mikey, as James