For the movie’s style, the A24 logo is presented here as skateboards and the skaters jump all over it. That sets the tone of the movie, so it’s not just the trailer.
Like Greta Gerwig, Bradley Cooper, and Paul Dano, in a recent trend of actors directing, Jonah Hill has kicked it up a notch. He writes and directs a movie about ghetto kids in the 90s. I can tell “Mid90s” takes place in 1995, because of Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose” playing on a radio. But that’s beside the point.
Being I was born in 1992, I admire the 90s, as much as a friend of mine, and seeing this movie makes me wish I can travel back in time. I love looking at the 4×3 format, the “Ren & Stimpy” and “Beavis & Butthead” T-shirts, the skate shops, the punk-a** skateboarders, the dialogue, and the music. And I love how the movie closes with a music video featuring the main characters in the movie, and how the camera films them. Now there’s your proof.
Sunny Suljic is known to Indie-goers as Colin Farrell’s son in “The Killing of a Scared Deer,” while the kids would probably recognize him as the friend-turned-bully from “The House With a Clock in its Walls.” But why am asking them? This movie is rated R, because Suljic’s character Stevie gets beaten up by his older brother (Lucas Hedges), and learns about maturity. To put it bluntly, he decides to hang out with a group of skateboarders, most of them have nicknames.
He learns how to skateboard, smoke, drink, talk tough, and even fool around with a girl named Estée (Alexa Demie).
He first meets Ruben (Gio Galicia), who tells him: saying you’re sorry is gay, and later, he grows disgruntled with him by his friendship with his 3 friends. They include the well-meaning Ray (Na-kel Smith), the dopey F*cksh*t (Olan Prenatt), and the aspiring filmmaker Fourth Grade (Ryder McLaughlin).
“Mid90s” isn’t a masterpiece, because of how I couldn’t read all the characters, because of their dialogue and situations. It doesn’t really explain why the older brother is mostly violent, and why the kid strangles himself with video game wires and rubs his leg with a sharp comb. Even an audience member asked: “Why is he doing those things?”
Still, the movie is affective, based on its 90s style and environment, the sense of humor, and the performances from Suljic and Smith. The two have a tender conversation towards the end about how life isn’t always easy, but with friends, you can live it. He may have produced comedies in the past, but Jonah Hill has surpassed his filmmaking by reminding us of youth in streets of LA in the 90s.
This movie is dope.