Customer Reviews for

American History X

Average Rating 4.5
( 61 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    These are not the droids you are looking for.....

    Films about social issues are usually either really good or really bad. Great directors can lead you to a certain conclusion about the issue without explicitly telling you what to think. When you are told what to believe, then the director has thrown objectivity out the window and started lecturing. A good director should be able to tell a story about racists impartially, and the viewer will draw his own conclusion that it's bad. The audience is usually already predisposed to that point of view. But Tony Kaye either doesn't trust your intelligence or his own abilities, so he inserts a series of long, preachy monologues to make sure he has convinced you. Problem is.. when you go this route, all notions of drama are out the window and you have a sermon. Whatever his reasons, it makes a really bad film. Even if you can get past the fact that you are being lectured rather than entertained, it's still hard to swallow the fact that American History X is a bad movie. For instance, the actors in this film are utterly hollow. Are we to believe that anyone with an I.Q. above 60 is subject to the simple persuasion we see here? There are several scenes where someone suggests to the main characters that "racism is the root of all your problems". Without blinking an eye, they blankly respond by saying, "Yeah, that makes sense to me." COME ON PEOPLE!! Take Edward Furlong's character for instance. The last time I saw such a simpleminded dunce who was this susceptible to the power of suggestion, it was that stormtrooper in Star Wars - "These are not the droids you are looking for" - "Duh, Ok.. Move along. Move along." This insults the audience's intelligence. If a person's sense of prejudice was this easy to sway, then we could eradicate racism altogether. In reality, we know the roots of racism are much deeper than this. Rent this film only if you have the intelligence of Furlong's character and you need further convincing that racism is a bad thing.

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