Reviews: Five Star

Playing holiday weekend catch up, we finally had a chance to watch Five Star

"This guy just gave us a mediocre review.
I say we kill his ass."
Five Star is a slice of gangland drama that feels like a distinctive mixture of Larry Clark, Harmony Korine, and the crime ridden grit of The Wire wrapped up in one down trodden package. Unlike most films that inhabit this sub-genre, Five Star doesn't glorify the thug life existence but presents a realistic view through the eyes of actors that feel true to the subject matter both in physical presentation and overall definition of character. The way they talk suits the setting and their reality based performances pull the viewer right into the plight of the lifestyle they lead. Unfortunately all their hard work is for naught as the movie does nothing to captivate its audience with a predictable story and typical drug dealer tropes.

Five Star comes in at an extremely short run time that hinders the film as a whole. With too little back story and a script that just walks through the motions, the movie is under inflated and could have desperately used a plot overhaul with more depth. With actors that portray their characters in vivid detail, it's sad to see their hard work go to waste due to such an underdeveloped story. Each bullet point of the script feels more and more cliched as the movie walks us through things we've seen time and time again in modern gang films. Not being sure if these script limitations were relative to a lack of funding or just simple laziness, Five Star could have excelled with the down to earth sensibilities of its lead actors.

Reviews have been divisively mixed across the board. Some hail Five Star for its simplistic take on the criminal life. Others mark it with a high grade for the way it establishes the duality between fatherhood and the death defying acts of a gang leader. For me, it just never got off the ground. The ideas for a great movie are all there. But with too little expansion on the subject matter and no room in the script for proper development of story, Five Star sits stagnant for most of its run time, failing its leads and leaving audiences wanting for more. There is a good movie in there somewhere. Unfortunately, it just never gets to where it should have headed. 



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