Directed by Charlie Ahearn.
Written by Charlie Ahearn.
Release Year: 1982
Review Date: 3/12/03
My friends Meg and Charles made the call on
some old school action at the local retro theater near my apartment,
so being that I like movies, I told them that I would “hang out.”
“Wild Style” is essentially your sloppy seconds choice when picking
amongst old hip-hop/break dancing homages...so, for example, if your
video store was out of “Breakin’”, “Beat Street”, or “Breakin’ 2:
Electric Boogaloo”, you would get “Wild Style” even though it is
probably the best of these films.
I think it is sloppy seconds because most
people that are hip-hop fans have never seen it; I don’t know if I
have ever seen it on TV, and since I was only 7 when the film opened
in 1982, I was way too young to know what was going on to have
wanted to see it as a kid. A sorta-documentary on rap’s early
beginnings in New York City, the film combines turntables, graffiti
and some of the worst “acting” in the history of film to give you a
feel for the early 80s culture of hip-hop life. Writer/director
Charlie Ahearn was actually at our screening to tell us a little bit
about the film (before saying “Now, while I’m here in CHICAGO...”
and summarily getting hissed by the audience for forgetting which
city he was in) and it must have been tough as a white guy to try
and convince all of these popular rap figures in New York City--all
of whom were black--to appear or help out with his film. So, we get
Fab Five Freddy, Grandmaster Flash, members of the Rock Steady break
dance crew, Busy Bee, the Cold Crush Brothers and many others all
hangin’ out, and at various points the action happening on screen is
pretty interesting mostly because of the historical significance of
Unfortunately (at least, unfortunate for
me), I just thought that the fictional characters killed “Wild
Style” because the actors were so bad and the filmmaking was
flat-out atrocious. This film does, however, feature one of the
most famous rap samples of all time--the line known simply as
“Yo, shut the fuck up, chico-man!”
Our audience almost exploded with glee when
the two characters involved in this conversation used the line,
because all of us knew the line but couldn’t believe it was in THIS
movie. But, save for this special moment, most of the laughter and
audience participation was directed at some of the bad situations
taking place on the big screen; man, where did Ahearn find these
kids? I thought the acting in “Breakin’ 2” was bad...
As a hip-hop fan, you simply must see this
film. But, for everybody else, you are better off without this one.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard