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Laws of Gravity Review

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Small time crooks Jimmy (Grene), Jon (Trese) and their crew get by selling the stuff they've nicked the night before, drinking heavily and starting fights in their spare time. That's until Jon goes down for not attending a court appearance. Jimmy then arranges his posse to sell guns to rise bail, things then take a turn for the worse...

★★★★★

In Brooklyn, a gaggle of mainly Italian-American hustlers rip off and quickly resell electrical goods, spending their off-hours hugging or hitting each other in bars and sparring verbally. Jimmy is best friends with Jon, who has skipped a court appearance and grins perkily whenever people tell him how badly things will turn out. Jimmy's wife (Falco) is pally with Jon's long-suffering girlfriend, who is smart enough to realise Jon is doomed to go to jail but too devoted (or too stupid) to leave him when he smacks her around. When an old friend turns up with a load of guns he wants to sell, Jimmy gets cut in on the deal, especially as he needs cash fast to spring for Jon's bail.

A low-budget first feature with a grainy, hand-held, seasicky look, this is fashioned on Mean Streets: young men on the fringes of criminality hang out together, insult each other a lot, talk about the rigid codes of behaviour they all swear by but then don't stick to, eat pizzas, bob their heads from side to side while talking and fight for no real reason. And it all ends in tears as those guns get used and the characters' short-sighted irresponsibility leads to genuine violence. There have been so many films with this sort of milieu and plot that this has a hard time establishing an identity, and though reasonably acted with some funny, protracted conversations (the girls are especially good), it sticks so closely to Mean Streets that you can easily guess who's going to get killed at the end.

If this was one of the first 90's gangster movies you saw, it would seem more original and enjoyable, but at the same time if this is your introduction to the genre there are much better films to start with. But it does entertain with strong performances by Field and a pre-Sopranos Falcon.

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