Outside the Frame

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Film Review: Blow

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Nothing new but it sure doesn’t blow.


Blow: both slang for the drug Cocaine and a film starring Johnny Depp. Not coincidently the film is about the drug, how about that?  Based on a true story it tells a fictionalised account of the life of George Jung, the man who worked with the infamous Medellín drug cartel of Columbia, including Pablo Escobar, to flood the shores of America with Cocaine during the 70’s and 80’s.

This type of film is not all that original, with similar rise and fall stories set in the criminal world seen in Scarface, Goodfellas and Casino, just to name a few. However, director Ted Demme does manage to produce a really enjoyable and entertaining piece of cinema. This is due not least because of Johnny Depp as the ill-fated but highly likeable Jung. A good supporting cast helps a lot with Ray Liotta and Rachel Griffiths as Jung’s parents, the always wonderful Cliff Curtis in a brief appearance as Pablo Escobar and Paul Reubens, who is impressive as Jung’s business partner/contact Derek Foreal. Also, thankfully, the very hot but rather annoyingly shrill Penelope Cruz, is used sparingly. The narrative is straightforward but ever engaging, and some of the scenes are really well shot.

Look, Blow as a film is far above average and definitely in the recommended pile. But one can only think that the subject material, along with Depp’s great performance, is probably its biggest draw-card. Audiences just love tales from the criminal world. Nevertheless it is a very good film that is worth multiple viewings. 


Written by Dale Weber

Thursday, 31 July, 2008 at 8:56 pm

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