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Savage Boys
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by Scott Weinberg

"Well-intentioned yet arid tale of angsty gang wargare."
2 stars

Equal parts "Come See the Paradise", "American History X" and any film featuring racial disharmony leading to civil unrest...

Brian Maeda's Savage Boys (a.k.a. the equally unmemorable Buddha Heads) covers all sorts of potentially dramatic territory - emotional scars left from internment camps, racism among inner-city gangs, the plight of the hopeful ex-con - without nailing any one down with much success.

Suggzy and Marco are estranged brothers heading in different directions. Fresh out of prison, Suggzy tries to make amends with his little brother; Marco is content to hang with his street buddies: The Buddha Heads, a crew comprised of hell-raisers of all races. Such free-thinking gang harmony is naturally frowned upon by opposing gangs...and we all know where that leads.

Plus there's a whole lot of back-story about how the boys' parents were detained in government camps and then brutally murdered inside their own market. All very earnest and straightforward; all very familiar and dull.

Savage Boys isn't exactly a bad movie. It's clear that the low-budget indie had producers trying to tell an insightful tale.

Points for effort, but there's very little here moviegoers haven't seen before. About 300 times.

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originally posted: 05/02/04 18:42:10
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Directed by
  Brian T. Maeda

Written by
  Brian T. Maeda

  Eddie Mui
  Calvin Jung
  Helen Ota
  Louise Mita
  A.M. Lai

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