Undoubtedly the best movie I’ve watched during this ‘break’ is the surprisingly old classic Boyz n the Hood – probably known to a lot of people as the movie that GTA: San Andreas wholesale borrowed its plot and aesthetic from, even if that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The movie was a tense experience I didn’t expect; I knew it would be a powerful ride, as the emotional bulk of the movie is carried by Cuba Gooding Jr. in his star-making role, but I didn’t expect to have my heart trying to escape my chest during this journey through growing up black in LA.
You go in with the historical knowledge that this movie came out a year before the LA Riots, and you know people are going to die, and that tenseness over the fates of these young men weighs over your head throughout the movie. But never does it interfere with the tenderness inherent in every scene in this masterpiece. Laurence Fishburne portrays a father that is hyper-aware of what he wants as a black man, what he wants to be as a black father, as a black role model. What comes across as severity proves itself to be the love his son needed to keep himself alive. Never once does John Singleton drop the ball; despite this movie being almost 30 years old, it’s an essential viewing that I wish I got around to sooner.