John Singleton, the man who created Boyz 'N the Hood, returns to his roots with a follow-up black suburban piece called Baby Boy.
The movie stars Tyrese Gibson as Jody, as well as Tamara LeSeon Bass and Ving Rhames. Gibson plays a guy who, though physically grown up with two kids with different mothers, is still pretty immature when it comes to the world. He doesn't have a job, he can't stay loyal to the love of his life, and he still lives with his mom.
The plot basically follows his "adventures" as he realizes that he needs to be independent, from facing competition with his mom's new boyfriend to his unique relationship with his girlfriend, who has a past relationship with a convict, played by Snoop Dogg.
I was pleasantly surprised by Baby Boy, because, honestly, I was expecting a much grittier and bloodier film than what it is. I was expecting something with gangs, or at least something involving street justice. To an extent, Baby Boy has that subplot, but it really isn't the focus Singleton chose. Instead, he looks at the life of Jody and the relationship he has with his girlfriend, and his mom.
The acting is good all around, although Tyrese Gibson shows his inexperience as a lead actor at times. Ving Rhames is very powerful in his role. Snoop Dogg is not very interesting as the girlfriend's ex-flame.
Unfortunately, as well done as Baby Boy is, it just isn't that exciting. I don't need action, but the drama needs to move along a little faster. There are a lot of slow parts and by about halfway through the movie it is becoming apparent that a lot of scenes are being repeated over and over again. There is a lot of conflict, but it is all the same conflict, and it gets tiresome after a while.
Baby Boy is a good movie, but isn't that entertaining.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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