"Gimmie the Loot" is an easy-going film and is not for filmgoers seeking a challenge. It’s a charming graffiti film (sans the graffiti one might be expecting) about a series of misadventures two inner-city teens take to reach their ultimate goal - trying to “bomb the big apple” (in Lehman’s terms: trying to put their graffiti stamp on the apple at the New York Met’s Citi Field).
It’s a darling adventure following Sofia (Tashiana Washington) and Malcolm -aka Shakes - (Tysheeb Hickson) through the streets of New York trying to make the funds they need to do the job. It’s an obvious first film for the writer-director Adam Leon, but a good one at that.
Weak areas of written dialogue combined with actors lacking years of experience makes the acting seem more cheese-ball than genuine. But it seems to work for the slapstick comedic scenes scattered throughout. Dialogue about condoms and Yakamas could make a Buckingham palace guard break character.
The characters are well rounded. Washington plays a tough heroine, who doesn’t look or act like a lady but gets upset when people don’t consider her one. Washington shows great potential for future acting in this role. She’s the leader of her team, which isn’t hard with dope Malcom who is her loyal sidekick and a jokester just trying to impress the ladies with his lack of game.
Some of the best moments were the natural scenes of New York: a mother and her children on the Subway and a group of boys tapping beats and free-style rapping. Leon said later in a Q&A that the reason they seemed natural was because they were. It speaks to the passion of the filmmakers, which is apparent on the love-note-to-NYC-esque feeling the film gives. The ‘50s and ‘60s era gospel play to the romantic, street feel.
The ending of the movie works for the low-risk approach Leon hoped to achieve. None the less, it would be a good one film to see after a heavy-thinker.
Contact Mallory Gnaegy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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