Twelve: Insight into the Lives of Privileged NYC Teens
Chase CrawfordCurtis Jackson (50 Cent)...
Director Joel Schumacher’s
latest thriller Twelve follows White
Mike (Crawford), who drops out of school after the death of his mother to be a
successful drug dealer in New York City’s Upper East Side. Even though Mike doesn’t
smoke or even do drugs, he makes huge
profits by supplying drugs to privileged kids in his area and social circle.
However, he leads a double life
by concealing the truth from his childhood friend (Roberts), while his main
supplier Lionel (50 Cent) pulls him further into the turbulent world of
drug dealing. To make matters worse, Mike’s life starts to collide when his cousin
is brutally murdered while trying to score some drugs and his best friend is framed
for the murder.
Focusing on the characters’
parallel lives unfolding, the film reaches a climax and all paths converge with
the house party towards the end, a somewhat predictable but nonetheless
Based on a novel, the film
starts with a solid narrative voiced by Sutherland. His dark and unique voice
will definitely capture your attention throughout the entire film. This is his second collaboration with director Schumacher
after 2002’s hit Phone Booth, where
Sutherland also lent his voice as the unseen villain.
The film’s cast is surprisingly
impressive, despite the fact that they’re mostly young TV talents. The film
doesn’t necessarily boast Oscar-winning performances, but Crawford’s performance
shows that he has a bright future ahead of him. Roberts gives a pleasant turn
as Molly, the painfully pure and upright childhood friend and love interest.
Another stand-out performance is that of Emily Meade, who is believable as Jessica,
the spoilt teenager trying the heavy drug Twelve for the first time and
instantly becoming a self-destructive junkie. Rory Culkin also gives a solid turn as Chris, the younger brother desperate to fit in with the cool crowd, and quite possibly the most sympathetic character in the film.
50 Cent’s role as a drug dealer is
perfectly suited for him, though rather typecast: it seems to be a given that
any rapper should instantly be given the role of a drug dealer in a film.
As promising as Twelve seems, it does suffer from character
overload; where too many characters are not given enough screen time and so
many of them feel one-dimensional and undeveloped. Furthermore, the fact that
the cast mostly consists of teenagers means that their issues and dialogues may
only appeal to audiences of the same age group and drive most adult audiences
Despite its flaws, Twelve is a good film that ironically
delivers positive messages to its teenage audience through its negative portrayal of hedonism,
oppulence, drug abuse and violence.