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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Directed by Vondie Curtis Hall
USA Home Video 01/97 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - graphic drug use, pervasive strong language, some violence, brief nudity

The city is conveniently set up to cater to the needs and desires of the rich. It is not so kind to the poor. In Gridlock'd, two heroin addicts, Stretch (Tim Roth) and Spoon (Tupac Shakur), awaken out of their drug-induced stupors on New Year's Eve to find that their friend Cookie (Thandie Newton) is in a coma after an overdose. Not able to get an ambulance or hail a taxi, they have to carry her to a hospital. Their brief dream of making it as a jazz combo is dashed.

Spoon believes that his luck is running out and decides to kick his heroin habit. Easier said than done. When their dealer is murdered, these two urban vagabonds find themselves pursued by the killers and the cops. Stretch decides to go with Spoon into a rehab program. But soon they find themselves in a Kafkaesque nightmare of red tape, misinformation, and dead ends. They yell and scream at callous clerks and caseworkers who are themselves burnt out.

Writer and director Vondie Curtis Hall of TV's Chicago Hope exposes the obstacles these two down-and-out junkies must face in their efforts to turn their lives around.

Life on the streets of Detroit has never looked so rough. If you are poor and at the end of your rope, the city is merciless. It's a jungle out there, as they used to say on Hill Street Blues.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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