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Posts Tagged ‘Bell Powley’

Matthew McCaughnahey, Richie Merritt

“WHITE BOY RICK” My rating: C+ 

110 minutes | MPAA rating: R

It’s easy to see why the real-life tale depicted in “White Boy Rick” got Hollywood’s attention. Here’s the story of a 15-year-old white Detroit kid who back in the ’80s infiltrated a black drug ring for the FBI, survived an assassination attempt, became a cocaine kingpin and ended up serving a long prison sentence.

It practically screams “Movie!”

Yet “White Boy Rick” is a surprisingly limp affair, perhaps because the screenwriters (Andy Weiss, Logan Miller and Noah Miller) and director Yann Demange cannot decide what to make of their offbeat protagonist.

And if they don’t know, those of us in the audience are even more in the dark.

The basics are these: Back in ’84 Rick Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt) was helping his bottom-feeding, gun-dealing dad (Matthew McConaughey, in full character actor mode with pot belly and greasy mullet) peddle illegal homemade silencers to Detroit’s gangbangers.

Cornered by a couple of manipulative  and openly amoral FBI agents (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rory Cochrane), Rick agrees to go undercover if the feds will leave his old man alone. He starts by buying at local drug houses, ostensibly on behalf of his crackhead sister (Bel Powley), and gradually becomes accepted by the crew of a local drug lord (Jonathan Majors).

Before long he’s dropped out of school and is sporting expensive track suits and gold bling (he’s so thick he buys a gaudy Star of David necklace, not realizing it represents Judaism) and doing all sorts of services both for the gang and for his FBI handlers.

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