Boyz N The Hood

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Release Date:   2/4/20; Blu-Ray (Original Release Date:  7/12/91)
Genre:   Drama
Rating:  R
Director:  John Singleton
Studio(s):   Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Running Time:  112 mins.

Cast:  Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Tre Styles), Desi Arnez Hine,s II (Tre, age 10), Angela Bassett (Reva Styles), Laurence Fishburne (Jason “Furious” Styles, Jr.), Ice Cube (Darrin “Doughboy” Baker), Baha Jackson (Doughboy, age 10), Morris Chestnut (Ricky Baker), Donovan McCrary (Ricky, age 10), Nia Long (Brandi), Nicole Brown (Brandi, age 10), Tyra Ferrell (Brenda Baker), Redge Green (Chris), Kenneth A. Brown (Chris, age 10), Dedrick D. Gobert (Dooky), Baldwin C. Sykes  (Monster), Tracey Lewis-Sinclair (Shaniqua), Alysia Rogers (Shanice), Regina King (Shalika), Lexie Bigham (Mad Dog), Raymond Turner (Ferris), Lloyd Avery, II (Ferris’ Triggerman), Jessie Lawrence Ferguson (Officer Coffey).

Story:   1984:  Ten year-old Tre Styles lives with his single mother, Reva, in Inglewood, CA. After Tre gets into a fight at school, his teacher informs Reva that Tre is highly intelligent but has a volatile temper and lacks respect for authority. Worried about Tre’s future, Reva sends him to live in Crenshaw with his father, Jason “Furious” Styles, from whom she hopes Tre will learn valuable life lessons.

Tre soon reunites with his friends, Darrin “Doughboy” Baker, Doughboy’s maternal half-brother Ricky, and Chris, their mutual friend.T hat night, Tre hears his father shooting at a burglar. They wait for the police, with two officers arriving an hour later. A white officer is civil and professional, while the black officer is hostile and displays a contempt towards black men.

The next day, Tre and his friends go out to the railroad tracks to view a dead body. While there, a group of older boys in who are part of the Crips gang steal Ricky’s football and Doughboy tries to retrieve it, but is beaten and kicked. While the older boys walk away, one of them gives Ricky his ball back. Later in the day, Furious goes fishing with Tre, telling him of his military experience in the Vietnam War.  When Tre and Furious return home, they see Doughboy and Chris being arrested for shoplifting.

1991:  At a barbecue, Doughboy is now a Crip gang member and is celebrating his recent release from jail, along with most of his friends, including Chris, who is now paralyzed and uses a wheelchair as a result of a gunshot wound. Ricky, who is now a star running back for Crenshaw High School, lives with his single mother Brenda, his girlfriend Shanice, and their infant son.  Ricky hopes to win a scholarship from University of Southern California.  Tre has grown into a mature and responsible teenager, who works at a clothing shop, and aspires to attend college with his girlfriend, Brandi. His relationship with her is strained over Tre’s desire to have sex, while Brandi wishes to wait until after marriage.

During a local street racing gathering, Ricky is provoked by Ferris, a member of the Crenshaw Mafia Gangsters. In response, Doughboy brandishes his handgun, leading to a brief confrontation between the two gangs. When the gangs are finished arguing, Ferris fires his submachine gun in the air, causing everyone to leave. Tre leaves with Ricky and notes his desire to leave Los Angeles, but they are eventually pulled over by the police. The cop is the same one who was disrespectful towards his father seven years earlier. He intimidates and threatens Tre with his gun. Tre visits Brandi’s house, and breaks down. After she consoles him, they have sex for the first time.

The next day, Ricky and Doughboy get into a fight. While Ricky and Tre walk to a nearby store, they see Ferris and his gang driving around the neighborhood and in an attempt to avoid them, the pair cut through back alleyways and split up. As Tre turns back to Ricky, Ferris’ car pulls up. Ricky turns to run but one of Ferris’ men shoots him twice with a double-barreled shotgun, killing him. Doughboy and his friends catch up with Tre too late. Devastated and helpless, the boys carry Ricky’s lifeless body back home. When Brenda and Shanice see Ricky’s corpse, they break down in tears and blame Doughboy, who unsuccessfully tries to comfort them and explain the truth. That night, a distraught Brenda reads Ricky’s SAT results, discovering he scored just enough to qualify for a college scholarship.

The boys want vengeance against Ferris and his crew. Furious finds Tre preparing to take his .357 Magnum, but convinces Tre to abandon his plans for revenge. Shortly after, Tre sneaks out to join Doughboy. That night, as the gang drives around looking for Ferris and his men, Tre asks to be let out of the car and returns home.  He realizes that his father was right to keep him from falling into an endless cycle of violence.  Meanwhile, Doughboy finds Ferris’ gang at a local fast-food restaurant.  The gang attempts to flee before Monster, one of Doughboy’s friends shoots all three, killing two (including Ricky’s killer) and mortally wounding Ferris.  Doughboy approaches Ferris.  Ferris insults him and Doughboy kills him.

The next day, Doughboy visits Tre, understanding his reasons for leaving. Doughboy knows that sooner or later he will face retaliation for Ferris’ death, and accepts the consequences of his crime-ridden lifestyle. He plaintively questions why America does not care about life in the ghetto, and sorrowfully notes he has no family after Ricky’s death and Brenda’s disowning of him. Tre embraces him, and tells Doughboy he has a brother in him.

Epilogue – Doughboy sees Ricky buried the next day and was himself murdered two weeks later.  Tre and Brandi go on to attend Morehouse and Spelman colleges in Atlanta, respectively.  Source(s):  IMDB; The Root; Wikipedia.

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