Dead Presidents

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -3 1/2

Three boys, two blacks and one Hispanic, from the Bronx discover the harsh realities of life in the late 1960s and early 70s. After graduating from high school, Anthony (Larenz Tate) and Joey (Freddy Rodriguez) enlist in the Vietnam War. Skippy (Chris Tucker) eventually joins them after flunking out of college. When Joey sustains a hand injury, he is sent home. Skippy comes home with psychological problems and Anthony follows when his tour of duty ends. Back in the Bronx, Anthony cannot find a job to support his girlfriend (N'Bushe Wright) and their two children. Skippy lives off government disability and Joey has a nowhere job. The three decide to rob an armored truck filled with old money the government is about to destroy, hence the title DEAD PRESIDENTS. When the ambush does not go well, the men are hunted by the police. There are some touching and humorous moments in this film, but it is extremely violent and painful to watch.

Hollywood's sleight of hand is obvious. Here is another viciously bloody movie that preaches against violence while it immerses the viewer in blood and gore. The atrocities of war turn young boys into hardened men as they see bodies blown to pieces in Vietnam. Some even take part in a castration and graphic mutilation of corpses. Back in the Bronx, our heroes have little compunction about shooting three innocent people, two in the head, during the robbery. Although a drug addict is eventually destroyed by his habit, his addiction is the source of some of the film's humor. The movie's final outcome does not condone these actions, but the way the characters get there is lighthearted and even funny. The government is portrayed as the root of society's social and racial inequities. Along with the excessive violence comes many regular profanities and over 250 obscenities which overpower any meaningful dialogue. Avoid this dead, rotten film.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Buena Vista (Hollywood/Disney), 350 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (52) times - Mild 16, Moderate 36

Obscene Language: Many (268) times - F-word 157, s-word 102, others 9)

Profanity: Many (16) times - Regular 15 (GD) , Exclamatory 1

Violence: Many times - Severe (men shown being blown up, complete with body parts; sadistic castration scene; man decapitates corpse on battlefield; fist fights with severe punching and kicking, falling down stairs; policemen killed by gunfire to the head, others blown up; man chokes pregnant woman)

Sex: Once with side breast nudity

Nudity: Twice (female breast once; rear male once)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (reference to genitals and intercourse)

Drugs: Many times - (marijuana smoking and cocaine addict shown shooting up twice)

Other: Government blamed for driving otherwise good men to violence

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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