Menace II Society | Chicago Reader

Menace II Society

Don't let the silly styling of the title put you off; this is a powerful, convincing, and terrifying look at teenage crime in contemporary Watts (1993), even if it also offers the mixed blessing of flattering and confirming the worst suspicions of many neoconservatives about ghetto life. Directed by 20-year-old twin brothers Allen and Albert Hughes from a script they wrote with coproducer Tyger Williams, this shocking, violent, and unsentimental (albeit sensationalized) drama about a second-generation drug dealer (Tyrin Turner) and the callous world he lives in, produced by To Sleep With Anger's Darin Scott, is terrifically acted, as much by the newcomers (Jada Pinkett, Larenz Tate, Erin Leshawn Wiley, Vonte Sweet, MC Eiht, and Too $hort) as by the old pros (Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Duke, Charles S. Dutton), who are around for cameos. 97 min.

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