🎥🍣 Movie Sushi — Boyz in the Hood

AdGridley
6 min readAug 19, 2021

“One out of every twenty-one Black American males will be murdered in their lifetime”

“Most will die at the hands of another Black male”

South Central, Los Angeles — 1984

Behind crime scene tape, young Tre and friends notice the blood from a recent shooting turning yellow. They understand it’s because it’s separating from the plasma. At school, they’re learning about the pilgrims. When Tre says “the penguins,” everyone laughs. Tre takes the pointer and points to Africa on a world map — saying everyone originated from Africa. One boy disagrees and they start fighting.

Tre’s intelligent, but has a bad temper. Tre’s Mom sends him to live with his father, Furious. She doesn’t want Tre dead, in jail or a drunk standing in front of a liquor store. At Furious’ house, Furious gives Tre a rake, telling him to fill the binbags with leaves. It’s after dark when he finishes. Furious tells Tre the rules of the house — essentially a lot of regular cleaning. When Tre asks what his Dad has to do, he says he has to pay the bills, put food on the table and put clothes on Tre’s back. Furious says Tre will be responsible — unlike his unguided, young friends.

At night, Furious fires twice at an intruder. The police arrive after about an hour. A Black officer cruelly uses the n-word when referring to the burglar. Furious tells the officer there’s still a problem, sarcastically calling the officer “brother” before going back inside.

Next day, Tre notices Brandi, a girl his age, living across the street. Tre, Doughboy and Rick meet up with Chris, who knows about a dead body. As they approach it, they all mention the terrible smell. A gang of older men approaches — the leader wants Rick’s football. Rick reluctantly surrenders the ball.

Summoning courage, Doughboy confronts the gang, yelling about his brother’s ball and attacking the gang leader. Doughboy’s swiftly overpowered. As they go to leave, the gang returns Rick’s ball anyway.

Tre’s fishing with his Dad. Tre understands he’s a leader, not a follower. He knows the three rules:

· Always look a person in the eye.

· Never be afraid to ask for anything.

· Never respect anybody who doesn’t respect you back.

Furious was seventeen when he became Tre’s Dad. All his friends were getting drunk, high, robbing and killing people. Furious served in Vietnam so Tre would be proud. Sadly, he discovered the army is no place for a black man.

SEVEN YEARS LATER

There’s a barbecue celebrating Doughboy leaving jail. Rick now has a baby son — also called Rick — with girlfriend, Shanice. Doughboy’s playing domino with Dooky, Monster and Chris. Dooky sucks on a baby’s dummy. The talk turns to women. Dooky says he might let a dope head perform a sex act on him, but otherwise, he doesn’t want to catch an STI. Monster says you can still catch STIs from sex acts and you can still die five years from now with no current symptoms.

Rick and Doughboy’s mom, Brenda, welcome Tre. Doughboy calls Tre “Mr GQ Smooth”. Tre’s looking trendy because he works at a clothing store, where he gets a discount. Chris’s now in a wheelchair. Tre marvels at how big Doughboy has become. Doughboy says it’s all the working out and eating in prison, as well as corresponding with his girlfriend. Doughboy makes it emphatically clear to Monster he can actually read.

Shanice’s friend, Shalika, lusts over Tre from across the garden and asks about his background. When Shalika asks if Tre has a girlfriend, Brandi, sitting right there, pointedly says he does. The others start laughing because Brandi kept this quiet for so long.

Rick tells Tre the recruiter from the University of Southern California is visiting. Talk turns to sex. Tre’s strictly speaking still a virgin, being afraid of fatherhood. Also, Brandi is a devout Catholic girlfriend and they’re not married.

Monster curses loudly while playing a videogame. Doughboy reprimands him, but curses freely while doing so. Chris discreetly tells Monster Brenda’s favourite son blatantly is Rick. They have different fathers.

Doughboy and friends are all over the porch. Lewis Crump from USC arrives and they pester him about a scholarship. Inside, Mr Crump meets a super-proud Brenda. Rick puts on his showcase videotape. When Rick says he might go into business, Lewis says Rick could do whatever he puts his mind to. Outside, Chris tells the others the best place to pick up girls is church. Lewis says since Rick has a 2.3 overall GPA, he must score over 700 in his SATs.

Tre, Rick and Brandi sit their SATs together. Afterwards, Rick and Tre visit “Furious Styles Financial” — Rick swigging from a milk carton. Furious says most of the SAT test is culturally-biased, except for the math. Furious drives them to Compton. Hiphop music plays and Rick is wary. A billboard says “cash for your home”. Gang members come over. Furious says it’s about gentrification — when the property value’s brought down and the land is bought cheaply. Then, the people are moved out, the value raised and it’s sold at a profit.

An old man blames the youth — shooting each other and selling crack. Furious asks how the crack gets into the country when there are no Black-owned planes or ships. He says there’s a gun shop or a liquor store on every corner in the Black community because the white man wants the Blacks to kill themselves, differing with, say, Beverly Hills. Every night, Black people are dying in their own communities. When a gang member asks Furious how he should retaliate to a shooting, Furious says he should think about his future.

It’s after dark in Crenshaw and the street’s filled with shiny, hydraulic cars full of people, the sidewalks also crowded. Tre and Rick arrive, Rick eating potato chips. Then, Ferris shoulder-barges Rick as he walks by. The men yell at each other and Doughboy produces his gun. Soon, the other man’s firing an automatic weapon into the air. As everyone scatters, he laughs.

Tre and Rick get pulled over by the same cop who attended the burglary seven years before. He pushes his gun into Tre’s chin, relishing the fear he’s creating. This is why he took the job. When the police radio distracts him, the two cops leave.

Tre arrives at Brandi’s and breaks down in front of her. She hugs him until he’s calmed down. He’s surprised he’s crying in front of her, but she doesn’t mind. They know now that they both really love each other.

Doughboy and friends spot a malevolent car. Doughboy throws out his arms and the car leaves. Doughboy asks about Tre leaving Brandi’s house at 2am the night before. Tre smiles. Shanice wants Rick to get cornmeal. Rick asks Doughboy to go and they start fighting. Brenda splits them up and hits Doughboy in the face — leaving Rick alone.

Rick tells Tre he wants to enlist. Tre says he’ll then belong to the government. They get the cornmeal and walk home. The malevolent car reappears, recognising Rick. Tre and Rick split up. As Rick rubs off another losing scratchcard, the car appears closer.

Tre alerts Rick, who sees the gunman, turns and runs. Tragically, Rick’s shot in the leg and, fatally, the back. Doughboy, Monster, Chris and Dooky arrive by car and take Rick’s body home. Brenda and Shanice are horrified. Doughboy tries to spare baby Rick the screaming and blood, but ends up blamed for Rick’s death.

Tre tells Doughboy to meet him in five minutes. Tre now has his Dad’s handgun. Furious confronts Tre. He asks if Tre wants to end up in a wheelchair like Chris, or like Doughboy. Tre surrenders the weapon. Brandi goes to Tre’s room, but sees Tre speed off in Doughboy’s car.

It’s night-time and Monster feeds bullets into the clip of his AK-47. Tre chooses to leave the car. Turns out Rick scored 710 points on his SAT. The men have been driving for hours and it’s getting cold. Chris suggests they get some food. Ferris is with two friends outside a burger bar. Monster shoots at all three men. Doughboy personally executes Ferris. Tre has walked home, but Furious is still angry.

Next day, Doughboy says he knows why Tre left the car. Killing can haunt you. Doughboy talks about how, on the news, there were lots of violent, foreign news stories but nothing about his own brother’s death. Doughboy says he doesn’t have a brother or a mother, now. Tre tells Doughboy he has one brother left and they embrace. As he leaves the porch, Doughboy pours out liquor for Rick.

“The next day, Doughboy saw his brother buried. Two weeks later, Doughboy was murdered. In the Fall, Tre went to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia with Brandi across the way at Spelman College.”

Starring Cuba Gooding Jr. Laurence Fishburne. Angela Bassett. Rated 18. Dir John Singleton. Released in the UK 1991. Runtime 1hr 52mins

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AdGridley

Ad teaches & gives speeches on his MH struggle + recovery at institutions right across the world. (Movie Sushi pieces contain spoilers)