[Movie Review] Dead Presidents

Dead PresidentsStarring: Larenz Tate, Keith David, Chris Tucker
Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Genre: Drama
Cert: 18
Released: 1995

Anthony Curtis (Tate) is a nice kid with a bright future. He is certainly the pick of him and his mates, Jose (Rodriguez) and Skip (Tucker), but he shocks his parents when he tells them that he doesn’t want to go to college but would rather join the American army.

Anthony goes to fight in Vietnam and returns home after five years to find that there is nothing for him; a dead-end job, a family to support and little future to speak of. In total desperation, he helps set up a heist on a security van where he hopes to end all his problems. He doesn’t know that his problems are only beginning.

For the first half of this movie we are treated to the brave and honourable young man who fights for his country and his friends. But even at this point there are obvious clinks in his armour. He is naïve and innocent but easily led by local criminal, Kirby (Rodriguez) who he has a secret admiration for. On his return from war, the hardship of the conflict has taken it’s toll on him and even though he is still a good person at heart, he is obviously living on the edge as his wife and child soon find out when Anthony.

The performance from Tate is superb but like so many stars of black ghetto movies (“Boyz N The Hood”, “Menace II Society”), he will probably fail to make his notable movie breakthrough. A lot of credit for the quality of this film must go to the director who, from start to finish, directs with style and polish in order to create a drama that keeps you enthralled. The actual heist scenes are as tense as any cinema I have seen in 1997.

“Dead Presidents” will go down as one of the better films of the year.


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