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Monday, 13 August 2018

Retro Review: Waist Deep (2006)

Waist Deep
2006
Cast: Tyrese Gibson, Meagan Good, Larenz Tate, Kimora Lee Simmons, The Game 
Genre: Drama Action
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $21 million 

Plot: An ex-convict gets tangled up with a gang after his car is hijacked with his son inside 





'Below-Par Action Offering That Is A Waste'

Watching Waist Deep makes me understand how Black or be it African American film has gone downhill since its heydays with early Spike Lee into the Hughes Brothers and the likes of Waiting to Exhale, Friday, Set It Off, New Jack City to name of the 1990s; there is rarely anything satisfying with this offering, but at the same time, it makes me sad to see the talents of Meagan Goode and Laurenz Tate reduced to something like this. It is a film that tries to impress, that it tries to be a legitimate crime-based flick - yet it becomes stylishly derivative and still offers nothing out of the box that is different that can be embraced.

Tyrese Gibson is O2: a former con who went straight and who is determined to give his son, Junior a far more prosperous life. But when Junior gets kidnapped from O2's car by the cronies of Big Meat (rapper The Game), O2 is drawn back to the life of crime and violence. Yet instead of going after the guy who kidnapped his son, he and Meagan Good's character, Coco become Bonnie and Clyde and end up robbing banks and people's homes and stealing their money.

Laurenz Tate, who impressed in the Hughes brothers, Menace to Society and Dead Presidents, isn't afforded that much depth to give and make Lucky any more than a one-dimensional character. Meanwhile leads Tyrese Gibson, despite his turn in Baby Boy, can't convince as the leading man in a full-on action movie as he has little onscreen personality and Meagan Good, whilst fares a little better than Tyrese, isn't given much to say and do that is substantial. The kid is also a bit too old to be Tyrese's young son. 

After an explosive start, Waist Deep collapses as it meanders on and thus doesn't go all out as an action thriller. The action scenes are not exciting and despite its genre, the film doesn't know what type of film it wants to be. It's often too melodramatic with clunky editing, the non-violent scenes involving Meagan and Tyrese failing to convince, and there is not enough good action to supplement the story, which in itself becomes bogged down and rapidly loses steam. 

The dialogue ranges from okay to pitiful whilst the lead characters are not redeemable or likeable enough for me to constantly root for. Bold and brash yet degenerating into tedious and dull, it turns out Waist Deep is beyond mediocre as it becomes a run-of-the-mill flick one has seen better elsewhere. Director and former Julliard graduate Vondie Curtis-Hall (& an actor of whom you may have seen in Coming To America, Die Hard 2: Die Harder and Falling Down), who also handled the screenplay, in addition to giving us the flop that is Mariah Carey's Glitter, bombards the film with sleek- looking visuals yet it is further drowned out by cliched and one-note characters and a tepid story that doesn't really make inroads.






Final Verdict:

Waist Deep is sadly a 'waste' of Tyrese, Meagan Good and Laurenz Tate's talents. 



Overall:

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