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American History X

Reviewed By desdemona
Posted 05/01/99 00:37:31

"A beautiful attempt at a wake-up call"
5 stars (Awesome)

Many movies made today try valiantly to have a point but very seldomly ever achieve it: this is not one of them.

Allow me to start by using the tired cliches--it was powerful, gut-wrenching, and incredibly sad. Well, all cliches aside, American History X was a damn disturbing movie. The first 45 minutes are every white supremecist's dream come true--it served as a rhetorical war against "niggers, spics, and kikes." Anyone who has ever had even a remotely pro-white inkling of a thought will have his prejudiced demon rear his ugly head (I know I did). This movie got to the heart of the white supremecy argument and spewed forth all the hatred common to the neo-nazis and the like. The movie didn't exploit the argument, but rather made all whites whole-heartedly believe it while enraging everyone else. While the whole point of the movie seemed to be to piss off minorities, it did what it did for a reason--to make us horrified. The movie escalated into a violently climatic turning point, and from that point on the director pulled no stops to show the ignorance of hate, and how hate is so all-encompassing that we become blind. The movie's purpose was to wake people up to the stupidity of their prejudices, simply by showing them the horrificly needless pain that hate can cause. The director did an amazing job of getting his point across--I think anyone with prejudices should watch this movie. It might not change anyone's views, but might be cause for reconsideration. But the director can't get all the credit--the audience is treated with beautifully aching performances by Edward Furlong and Edward Norton, two of the truly best young actors of the 1990s. Their powerful, angst-filled, believeable performances made this movie work, gave it life and made it breathe. The only thing questionable about this movie is the ending: I thought that it almost defeated the entire purpose of the movie in the first place, but in consideration of those that did not yet see the movie I will leave that comment at that.

This is a movie that cannot be overlooked. It has a message to send--listen. But don't think that all it does is preach--it does so in the form of a solid plot and carefully wrought dialogue.

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