"I'll always come
back for you,"
Recently released from prison and on his third strike, O2
(Gibson) knows if he does turn his life around he is facing a life sentence
in prison and he will any contact he has with his son, Junior (Hall). When
he is tricked into having his carjacked by Coco (Good), a shoot out ensues
and Junior is taken as a hostage. Now he has to get hold of $100,000 dollars
for local gangster Meat (The Game) or he will never see his son again.
Stories from the streets of Los Angeles have become a stable
part of American cinema since the success of 'Boys N' the Hood' in 1991
but can 'Waist Deep' have the same impact?
Stories from the 'Hood' in Los Angeles have been a stable
part of African American cinema for almost two decades how. Combined with
rap and R n' B music, these are usually stories of crime, drugs and urban
gangsters who shoot first and ask questions later. While this might actually
be what it is like to live in South Central LA, it doesn't mean to say that
every story that comes out of there has to be one of violence.
The main problem with 'Waist Deep' is its total acceptance
of violence and lawlessness as a way of life. The main protagonist of this
piece is a man trying to turn his life around after his second visit to
prison. This is only because of the three strike rule in the US, were if
you are convicted of a crime three times you receive a life sentence. While
he does say that he is doing it for his son but why wasn't he thinking about
him the previous two times he committed a crime?
By constantly having criminals and gangster as 'role models',
African American oriented movies never show a positive, law-abiding side
of the community. Instead all we ever see is drugs, violence and guns making
the rest of the think that Los Angeles is basically a war zone. Tyrese Gibson's
O2 is typical of this. He is an ex-convict on his final strike, force to
turn his life around or spend the rest of his days in prison. Of course
he is dragged back into a life of crime to save his son. While saving his
son is the honourable thing to do but of course he takes the law into his
own hands. The film never even shows any real representation of law enforcement,
even when O2 and his partner Coco become part of a citywide manhunt.
Tyrese Gibson is another rapper turned actor but he is talented.
He definitely has a screen presence but he needs to ply his trade in movies
that are not stereotypical of Afro-American culture. The same can be said
for the extremely beautiful and talented Meagan Good, who deserves better
than just to be class as a 'whore' or a 'bitch' every five minutes.
'Waist Deep' isn't a bad film in this genre but it just isn't
anything new. African-American filmmakers and studios need to move away
from these types of stories however because they do not sell outside of
their communities or the US and we need to see more positive stories than
ones about gangs and crime.