Monday, September 7, 2009

The Education of Charlie Banks (2007)

Three's company, Charlie Charlie (Jesse Eisenberg) meets teen thug Mick (Jason Ritter) at a party. Mick gets into a fight and proceeds to nearly kill two teens who got lippy. Charlie is shaken; he identifies Mick as the culprit and the cops set to work on the case. But, Charlie is a neighborhood kid and he keeps his chat with the cops quiet. After a conversation about loyalty with his best friend, Danny (Chris Marquette), Charlie returns to the cops and recants. He doesn't want to be a rat.

(Spoiler Alert: Read at Your Own Risk!)

Fast forward a year or two and Mick's back in Charlie and Danny lives. He appears at their college dorm, still equipped with violent tendencies, but now, he covets the same girl Charlie covets. Things get more complicated as the plot progresses until Charlie is forced to revisit his previous choice, even when Danny still sympathizes with Mick.

The movie has several disturbing scenes and violent fisticuffs. The oppositional characters are impressive. There's chemistry. Charlie's fear of Mick is palpable. As Mick positions himself deeper in Charlie's territory, Charlie becomes stronger. Movie delves into class issues--upper crust versus middle class, plus throws in all the kookiness of navigating life away from home for the first time. Maybe it's because I'd just watched Bobby, but I kept wishing Shia LeBoeuf played the character of Danny. He would have been excellent but he may have been too big a number for the secondary role.

Director: Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit lead singer)

Country: US

Genre: Drama

Run time:  100 minutes

Scale: 4

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