Alpha Dog

Alpha Dog

In Theatres: 
Jan 12, 2007
Running Time: 
118 Minutes

When a group of gangster wannabe kids (who come from the wealth of L.A suburbia) abduct the brother of one of their debtors to use as leverage for payment, they get more troubles than any of them expected. After learning that the punishment for kidnapping carries up to a life sentence in federal prison, they decide the only way out is to kill the kid, hide the body, and play the big innocent act.

If there’s one thing in the universe that I am sure of, it’s that Alpha Dog will absolutely and for all time dispel the mystique and glamour that rampant drug use, sex, and fake gangster attitude holds for the youth of America.

Oh please.

I can sum up the entire experience of watching this movie by popping open a beer, lighting a joint, and saying “Yo, shit fuck your bitch.” Oh wait. I have to be a rich white kid and wear a baseball cap backwards and only slightly to the side. I think the current fashion is +/- 7° from center or some horseballs.

Even if this was based around a true story there isn’t much here to interest anyone who can get in the theatre. It’s meant to impress somebody around 16-22 years old, and the ones that can get past the box office probably won’t care. One of my large sour issues is the swearing. Right now you’re probably thinking that I’ve been replaced by pod people for saying that but hear me out. The dialogue forgot it was meant to allow for character interaction and just tried to topple Scarface for sheer volume of bad language. This is all well and good but most of the swearing was poorly injected, like a bad collagen lip job. There’s a clear line between what it’s supposed to be (that would be “cool”) and what it is (that would be “annoying”).

Cursing modifies the perceived importance and impact of a statement, it doesn’t replace the language. This is me digressing.

The acting is more serious than I expected. For the 3 ½ minutes of screen time that doesn’t involve a party I was surprised to find myself oddly entertained by a majority of the cast. I’m predicting that Justin Timberlake will actually be able to pull of some respectable performances (for a non-actor celebrity figure) if given a few years to mature. The inclusion of higher tier actors like Bruce Willis and Sharon Stone somehow doesn’t seem right but works all the same. There are a few fun cameos as well, such as Lukas Haas and Alex Kingston and the direction allows for some well played humor that is worthy of a few chuckles but won’t spoil what atmosphere that is able to accumulate in the shadow of an enormous MTV logo. Ultimately this movie is for kids who have trained themselves to use the word “tight” when giving positive verbal feedback. If that kind of thing comes too naturally for you or if you prefer not to give a rat’s ass about rich gangster kids or anything they do, Alpha Dog isn’t for you, you.

Review by Baron Aloha