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Amongst Friends Review

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Three childhood friends, grow up to be very different but try to connect by stealing together. Although they are all middle class, they think they will earn respect by becoming criminals, but on one mission featuring drugs and guns things begin to get out of control.

★★★★★

This flashy debut desperately wants to carve out a niche for itself in the post-Mean Streets genre of movies which use mob violence, machismo and old pop music to catch the tangled rhythms of life on the edge. Its only problem is its premise: that the sons of affluence in suburban Long Island choose crime over college as a way of staving off respectability and boredom.

Throughout this movie, Weiss is unable to decide whether this wilful idiocy is something which deserves to be mocked or elegised. Andy (Parlavecchio), Billy (Lindsay) and Trevor (McGaw) are three young-bloods whose childhood friendship is tested to breaking point by a series of drug runs and robberies. Billy is the uptight, aggressive hustler who thinks like a yuppie and acts like a rap star, Andy his whiny, insecure sidekick, and Trevor the groovy born-again hippie to point up the contrast with his friends.

The plot isn't worth much: a night­club robbery which goes wrong; an old high-school sweetheart forced to choose; a final melange of pointed guns and bad attitudes. It's the sparky dialogue and slick imagery which really grab the attention, and the montage sequences — a nervy flashback attack which fills in the background on the three friends — work better than a lot of the big scenes. If Weiss had devoted as much energy to properly framing his story as he has done to polishing its background detail, then he might have had a triumph on his hands. As it is, he has made little more than a sentimental movie about leaving home dressed up with drugs and guns.

Trying to be part of the 90's gangster genre is no bad thing, but when you aspire to be one of the best around, you can really only fail. Having said that there are some good moments and signs of potential, if only the script had offered some new material.