More ambitious than Menace II Society
, this second feature by youthful codirecting twins Allen and Albert Hughes starts in 1968, a few years before they were born, when three friends from the Bronx (Larenz Tate, Chris Tucker, and Freddy Rodriguez) enlist in the marines. Back from Vietnam but not treated as heroes, they eventually find themselves plotting an armed robbery. Written with Michael Henry Brown, this 1995 picture shows flashes of political savvy and has some decent performances, and the period evocations are nothing to be ashamed of. But gratuitous gore and violence and a huffing and puffing heist sequence eventually compromise the movie's claim to seriousness. With Keith David, N'Bushe Wright, and Bokeem Woodbine. R, 119 min.