Light It Up

0
0
Subscribe to Usher Raymond alerts

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 10th November 1999

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 38%
Fresh: 18 Rotten: 30

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Tracey E. Edmonds, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds

Starring: Usher Raymond as Lester Dewitt, Forest Whitaker as Officer Dante Jackson, Rosario Dawson as Stephanie Williams, Robert Ri'chard as Zacharias 'Ziggy' Malone, Judd Nelson as Zacharias 'Ziggy' Malone, Fredro Starr as Rodney J. Templeton, Sara Gilbert as Lynn Sabatini, Clifton Collins, Jr. as Robert 'Rivers' Tremont, Glynn Turman as Principal Allan Armstrong, Vic Polizos as Capt. Monroe, Vanessa Williams as Audrey McDonald

Light It Up Movie Review


Light It Up smolders and spits out some smoke, but no fire. The film treads lightly on the volatile crossroads where disenchanted inner city youth meet the desperate state of urban public education. A la Higher Learning, the prevailing simplification of issues concludes with empty and confusing platitudes in answer to some complex stuff.

Queens, New York - it's about as bad as it can get at Lincoln High. Almost nobody has textbooks, snow is blowing through broken windows in dilapidated classrooms, and student favorite Mr. Knowles (Judd Nelson - The Breakfast Club, From the Hip) was just fired for no good reason by heavy-handed Principal Armstrong. When Officer Dante Jackson (Forest Whitaker - The Crying Game, Jason's Lyric) struggles to detain gifted student artist "Ziggy" Malone on bogus charges, Lester Dewitt (Usher Raymond) takes matters into his own hands by seizing the Officer's gun and taking Jackson hostage. Now barricaded against the New York Police Department, the basketball star Lester, the artist "Ziggy," along with a student council member, a punk-rocker, a hustler, and a gang banger have to figure out what they are standing for.

Lester and the other students ultimately attempt to use their newfound leverage to demand improvements for a decent education. They use e-mail to rally support from the community and dispel allegations by the media that they are nothing but violent gang vigilantes. As negotiations fail, the stakes for Lester, the other students, and Officer Jackson escalate. The dramatic climax centers around whether loss of life can be avoided as the NYPD closes in without meeting Lester's conditions.

Some may contend that Light It Up does well to leave its audience frustrated with incomplete answers; after all, there are no easy solutions to the problems it examines. On the other hand, it seems irresponsible to present such radical actions and then gloss over the consequences in this incomplete fashion. Call me old school, but I'd rather "light it up" with a pint of JD than a ticket to this show - at least a hangover usually has a few decent stories to go with it.

Hole in the fire.


Contactmusic

0
0
Subscribe to Usher Raymond alerts

Comments

Light It Up Rating

" Weak "

Advertisement

More Usher Raymond

Entourage Trailer

After making a name for themselves in Hollywood, Vincent Chase and his entourage of friends from Queens have finally made a movie. The only problem...

Bastille - Things We Lost In The Fire [Live] Video

Live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta, Bastille perform 'Things We Lost In The Fire', the final single from their debut album...

Bastille - Oblivion [Live] Video

Bastille perform their single 'Oblivion' live on the Honda Stage at Music Midtown in Atlanta. The track followed Platinum hit 'Of The Night' and featured...

HAERTS - Interview Video

Brooklyn band Haerts released their self-titled debut album this year, and here they talk about how they first got into music, their lifelong friendship and...

Advertisement

Mark Ronson - Daffodils ft. Kevin Parker [Audio] Video

Mark Ronson will finally unveil his fourth album 'Uptown Special' on January 26th 2015 through his new label deal with Sony Music. He has teamed...

Meghan Trainor - Lips Are Movin [Live] Video

Meghan Trainor performs her latest single 'Lips Are Movin' at one of her favourite places in the world: an aquarium. The song features, alongside smash...

HAERTS - Be The One [Live] Video

Haerts perform an intimate live rendition of their song 'Be The One', taken from their self-titled debut album released in October 2014 through Columbia Records....

ScHoolboy Q - Hell Of A Night Video

ScHoolboy Q released his first number one with third album 'Oxymoron', and he now unveils the video to its latest single 'Hell Of A Night'...

Advertisement