...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

July 30, 2007

Alpha Dog - 5

"Alpha" is used to describe the dominant personality in a social group (it is used predominantly to describe animal behavior in pack animals such as dogs, wolves, etc).
This film applies the term to a group of young drug dealers in LA. Based loosely on the true story of Jesse James Hollywood and Nicholas Markowitz, this film tells the story of Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsch) and the consequences of his youthful running of a drug ring. Due to a petty fight with Jake (Ben Foster), he kidnaps Jake's younger brother Zach (Anton Yelchin). And since this is a group of teenagers: the scenario goes downhill fast. This film is a sad statement about America's youth culture (scary trivia note: this film ranks 4th in its use of the f-word- 394 times!). The take over of social status above a sense of moral meaning can have horrendous consequences and I am not sure whether this film will get this across or further perpetuate the problem. I hope for the former, but suspect this film appeals to a fast-paced entertainment viewing, rather than the reflection and thoughtfulness it requires.


~Maria~ said...

Did you know that this is based on a true story that happened in Santa Barbara (just 45 minutes north of where I live)? Although I haven't seen it, it seems like it plays upon the glamour of the thug lifestyle that is popular in hip-hop culture. Am I right?

~greg said...

It is about having power, rather than about doing what is right, to tragic results. The Jesse James Hollywood link in the post goes to more facts about the true story.