[Screen It]


(1997) (Ice Cube, Elizabeth Hurley) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Extreme Moderate Heavy Mild Extreme
Moderate None None Heavy Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Moderate Moderate Minor Mild Extreme

Drama: An American returns to his African homeland and finds his brother involved in the world of drugs.
Vusi (ICE CUBE), a former South African exile, returns to his homeland after twelve years to bury his father. Living in America and working with drug-addicted kids, Vusi is disturbed to see his native people falling into similar drug problems. His youngest brother, Steven (ERIC MIYENI), is missing and is believed to be an addict himself. When Vusi finds Stevenís girlfriend, Karin (ELIZABETH HURLEY), a stripper and fellow addict, he discovers that his brother owes money to Johannesburg drug lord, Muki (VING RHAMES). After several violent encounters, Vusi, his other brother Ernest (SECHABA MORAJELE), and Karin set off to find Muki to settle the debt.
If theyíre fans of rapper-turned actor Ice Cube, they will.
For strong violence, drug use and language, and for some nudity.
  • ICE CUBE plays a drug counselor who resorts to violence to end a drug lordís reign of terror.
  • ELIZABETH HURLEY plays a stripper and drug addict.
  • VING RHAMES plays a drug lord whoís an addict himself.


    OUR TAKE: 3 out of 10
    This movie has the feel of a straight to video release with its drug related action scenes being set in a foreign country and a group of "B" list actors playing the parts. With an overtly obvious anti-drug message, that at times is pounded into our heads (with some awkwardly staged dialogue), and several scenes with Ice Cube talking on the phone that go absolutely nowhere, the film never gets off the ground. Hurley does an okay job playing against her normal type as the skanky drug addict. Ice Cube, however, feels restrained throughout the movie and perhaps tries too hard to be a "serious" actor instead of just getting into the role. Rhames, whoís been fabulous in other roles (including "Pulp Fiction" and the not-so-great "Striptease"), similarly feels restrained and is limited to sucking on chicken feet and getting philosophical about watching soccer games. While the filmís message (anti-drug) is good, its delivery isnít. We never get involved with the characters and thus donít really care how any of this will turn out. Although the film didnít go straight to video, it simply wonít find a theatrical audience and will be on tape soon enough. We give it just a 3 out of 10.
    Despite the abundant drug use, Ice Cube continually speaks out against it and since heís a role model for some kids, this could be seen as a good thing. There is some racism, but not as much as one would expect in a film that deals with racial strife in South Africa. Profanity is very heavy (with 70+ "f" words) and bare-breasted women are occasionally seen. The ending includes a very violent shootout where many people are killed, but surprisingly it isnít the bloodbath one would expect. Since some kids will be drawn to this picture due to rapper Ice Cubeís presence, we suggest that you check out the scene listings to determine if itís appropriate for them.

  • Vusi and Ernest drink home-brewed beer from a tin can.
  • People drink at a strip club and at other bars.
  • Karin and others smoke crack cocaine in a bar.
  • Karin asks Vusi to go buy her one gram (of crack) and he reluctantly does so (mainly to see who the drug dealer is), but later gives her the drug that she smokes.
  • Karin drinks liquor from the little bottles found in hotels.
  • Karin has a "tropical" drink.
  • Steven shoots up (needle into a vein), and Karin appears to be high in one scene.
  • A man snorts cocaine.
  • Muki takes hits from a bong several times and often appears to be "high."
  • Vusi (as a boy) has a bloody lip and bloody scrapes on the side of his head.
  • Karin has a bloody lip after being hit by a thug.
  • Steven is a little bloody after being shot and later a bloody sheet covers his body.
  • Most of the people killed in the last scene are a little bloody.
  • Obviously, Muki and his men have both as they deal drugs and use violence to enforce their rule.
  • Ernest is, as Vusi puts it, "a soldier without a war," and he appears bitter because of this.
  • Several local men steal Vusiís car and some of his clothing at gunpoint and one of them breaks his fatherís spear when he asks for it.
  • Racism occasionally occurs in the movie and black people are called "caffers" (spelling?).
  • Vusi tells Karin that the drugs are going to kill her and she says, "Who cares."
  • Some viewers may find scenes listed under "Violence" as tense.
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Shotguns: Used to threaten, injure, or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Switchblade: Pointed at Vusi by a drug dealer.
  • Knife: Used to sacrifice a goat.
  • Spear: Used to sacrifice a cow and later to impale a man.
  • Ernest shows Vusi and Karin his hidden stash of weapons and Karin accidentally fires a machine gun in the woods.
  • Bomb: Used to kill two of Mukiís men.
  • Phrases: "Nigger," "Bitch," "Bastard," "Shut up," and "Balls" (testicles).
  • Three local men steal Vusiís car and some of his clothing at gunpoint.
  • Karin climbs out through her window onto the ledge to get into the apartment next door.
  • Muki continually sucks on a severed chickenís foot.
  • None.
  • None.
  • There are many rap songs throughout the movie that include the "f" (with the prefix "mother") and "s" words as well as use of the word "nigger."
  • 73 "f" words (8 with the prefix "mother" and 3 used sexually), 34 "s" words, 5 slang terms for male genitals (the "d" word), 1 slang term for female genitals (the "p" word), 13 hells, 11 "ass" words, 4 damns, 2 S.O.B.ís, and 7 uses of "God damn," and 1 use each of "Oh my God," "Jesus," and "Jesus Christ" as exclamations.
  • Vusi first sees Karin wearing skimpy underwear and later her bare butt cheeks are seen as she climbs into the back of a car.
  • At a strip club, strippers are seen suggestively dancing, and bare breasts and butts (in thong bottoms) are also seen. Karin dances around one of the poles, but is dressed.
  • Karin says "Iím coming" (when someone asks her to come along with them) and another man says, "So soon?" (orgasm innuendo).
  • Vusi gives a hotel bellhop a large tip and the young man says, "Oh, so you want a woman?" (He doesnít).
  • A hooker wants Vusi to buy her a drink. He declines and then says that there are two things he never buys, "Water and p*ssy...because theyíre both free."
  • There are several pictures of naked women (bare breasts) hanging in a drug dealerís room.
  • An older man smokes a pipe.
  • People smoke in a strip club and in other bars.
  • Karin smokes throughout the movie.
  • Although heís come to bury his father, Vusi doesnít grieve much over the death.
  • Stevenís mother breaks down when she sees his body.
  • South Africa, and the efforts to bring about racial equality.
  • Drug use.
  • Some documentary footage of early civil rights movement activity shows guns being fired, people fighting, and some injured people on the ground.
  • Vusi (as a boy) is threatened by a white man who hits him on the head and later threatens to shoot him, saying "Next time, Iíll pull the trigger."
  • A cow is sacrificed with a spear, but it happens off camera.
  • Vusi and Ernest get into a very brief shoving match.
  • Several local men steal Vusiís car and some of his clothing at gunpoint.
  • A man knocks over Vusi as he races from Stevenís apartment. Inside, Vusi and Karin find that the man has ransacked the place.
  • Vusi yanks Karin around the room and then throws her onto the couch as he tries to get her to tell him the truth about his brother.
  • Three thugs confront Vusi and Karin in an alley. Punches are thrown and Karin is hit in the face and stomach. Vusi then holds a gun on them and all but one leaves. He then punches and knocks that thug out and does the same to another who returns.
  • A drug dealer pulls a switchblade on Vusi who then pulls his gun on the man and then holds it to his head.
  • One of Mukiís men holds his gun against Vusiís head, but Vusi punches the man. Other men then hold their guns on Vusi and put him in the trunk of their car.
  • Muki tells Vusi that he better come up with the money owed to him or heíll kill Steven.
  • Muki shoots and kills Steven.
  • Vusi slits a goatís throat with a knife as a sacrifice relating to his brotherís death.
  • Karin kicks her drug dealer in the crotch. Later heís tied up and is shocked with a cut lamp cord. Karin tells them to "shock his d*ck" and threatens to do so herself until the dealer agrees to help them.
  • Vusi and Ernest make a bomb which later kills two of Mukiís men.
  • Vusi and Ernest burst into Mukiís penthouse and shoot their machine guns at his men who fire back with shotguns and handguns. Seven people are killed (including a woman in a bathtub who tries to shoot Vusi). Vusi then stabs Muki several times with a spear and then pushes him through the window where he falls many stories and crashes into a car on the street below.

  • Reviewed February 7, 1997

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