Blow

A routine biopic (2001) of George Jung (Johnny Depp), who helped smuggle massive quantities of cocaine into the U.S. as the primary connection for Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in the 1970s. The script, adapted by David McKenna and Nick Cassavetes from a book by Bruce Porter, traces Jung's career from his days as a pot dealer on the beaches of southern California through his inevitable downfall, brought on by a manic lifestyle and easy access to coke. A transparent subplot involving his shortcomings as a father fails to generate much sympathy for him, and only Depp and Ray Liotta (as Jung's father) manage to animate this tired formula, leaving the rest of the cast to ham their way through some very one-dimensional roles. Ted Demme directed; the splendid cinematography is by Ellen Kuras. With Paul Reubens, Penelope Cruz, and Rachel Griffiths. 119 min.

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