Although Mid90’s was written and directed by Jonah Hill, he did not act in any part of this movie. Instead, he chose to showcase his talent with others in the forefront. This film is artistic and uncomfortable; sometimes on purpose, other times purely from accidental oversight and missteps. It is not a movie that fans of Hill’s acting would like because it possesses a dark, twisted cleverness. Unfortunately, many of the cleverness is taken away by the confusing choices he made as a director.
Stevie is a sixth grader wanting to be a part of the “cool crowd” while dealing with his dysfunctional family at home. He finds the group he wants to be a part of in a skateboard shop. Stevie then tries his best to befriend the two oldest in the group, Ray and Fuckshit (yes that’s a character’s name), by buying his older brother’s skateboard and hanging out at the shop with them. When he succeeds, they give him the name of Sunburn.
What follows is Stevie’s adventurous demise as he tries drugs, cigarettes, and liquor thanks mostly to Fuckshit’s involvement. Stevie’s brother and single mom try their best to stop the downward spiral. Unfortunately, Stevie won’t listen to either of them.
What follows is seeing how a lot of people hit rock bottom at a young age. There is a combination of an unhealthy home life, a daring teenager trying his best to be popular, and the influences older people have on youth.
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This movie began with high hopes but slowly declined until it reached the feeling of boredom and disappointment.
The music was a mix of nostalgic 90’s songs and a strange, ominous piano piece that sounded as though the movie would soon turn into a horror show. Some scenes changed in ways that made no sense. For example, Stevie and his mother got into a fight where she told him to never see the boys at the skate shop again. Cut to a minute later and he is with Ray behind the skate shop. There is no explanation as to why or how he got there despite his mother’s orders.
His mother was also the only female character with any kind of depth and value. The rest were shallow, cardboard characters and only used as fillers for the main cast.
Despite all this, Mid90’s seemed very real–something many films miss. Jonah Hill has made it apparent that he is someone in the film industry with fresh eyes and a serious drive. I am excited to see what he makes next.