White Mike is a young drug dealer whose clientele (our rich, spoiled and neglected youth) are always jonesing for more but in the wake of dealing with his mother’s death, the lies he tells a childhood friend and the disastrous effects of a new drug called Twelve, Mike’s world slowly starts to fall apart.
Now it wasn’t long into this film before I started to realize I’d seen this all before. Well, to be honest, probably a few times but the most memorable time being THE RULES OF ATTRACTION. James Van Der Beek played a pretty cool drug dealer and scenes don’t get much cooler than the one between him, Clifton Collins Jr. and Clifton Collins Jr.’ elbow. That said, this doesn’t feel much like Dawson’s Creek, not at all actually and that’s a good thing. White Mike is a wondrously deep character who spoke to me from the heart. In my opinion, the world is a messed place full of messed up people who do all sorts of messed up crap, most of which we only wish was fiction. This story feels a little too real and I dug the hell out of that.
As for the players in this game I clearly liked Mike; he’s flawed but knows it, a touch crazy but embraces it. There’s a lot of brutal stuff going through the guy’s melon about the ironies and hypocrisies of life as well as a thought or two about the unfairness of death. Ironically for me, the only other real character for me was Claude, the rage filled brother who only wanted/needed a little affection from his parents to set him straight. I won’t go too much in detail there because I don’t want to give anything away but I’ve seen how cold neglect can make people and trust me, it ain’t pretty.
This film goes out of its way to paint a very reasonable portrait of clichéd people who all fit very nicely into this picture and for the most part I buy what they’re preaching but very rarely in life are so many things traced back to one or two events and/or are shared by people so close together, it just doesn’t happen that way. I really liked what happens with Sara, the obsessive “it” girl but other than that, nothing really wowed me here in the conclusion. I liked the film and dug where it went but I guess I just wasn’t overly surprised by anything. The one part I really didn’t get however, was how in the hell Hunter ended up in the ridiculous predicament he did. Again, I won’t ruin anything but I found that one fork in the road quite frustrating.
TWELVE is yet another thought provoking, well acted and darkly clever film that totally flew under my radar and had I not gotten it in the mail, I would never have had the distinct pleasure of watching it. Every path in life has a darker road, one that some people never have to walk. For that reason, those people have a hard time digesting movies like this one or hearing similar stories because if you’ve never danced with the devil you have a hard time believing he’s out there. Now of course I don’t mean that in the literal sense, I’m simply saying that sometimes life is tough and once you get caught in the whirlwind it can be damn hard to get out. Bottom line, this film is a rare gem and should not be missed.
Video: 1.85:1 Widescreen in 1080p HD with AVC codec. There’s much more going on in this film that you’d expect and the lighting and camera shots capture just the right shot and just the right moment.
Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD in English, French and Spanish with the same subtitle options. I was truly amazed to see 50 Cent in a film despite being packed with kids, sported no rap music to speak of.
Previews: There are a handful of trailers but sadly that’s all she wrote for special features.