In this gripping and moving coming-of-age drama, we meet Mister (played by talented new actor Skylan Brooks) and Pete (equally talented Ethan Dizon). Mister is a 13-year-old Black kid who knows every line of the movie “Fargo” and has just been informed that he’ll have to repeat the 8th grade. Pete is a shy Korean-American a few years his junior who’s obsessed with cartoons. What do the two have in common? They both live in one of New York City’s poorest projects, they both have drug addicted mothers, and they form an unlikely duo as circumstances cause them to be alone and they have to fend for themselves the entire summer.
Displaying an ingenuity and resilience far beyond his years, Mister does everything he can to keep them both fed, out of trouble, and out of the dreaded group home, his only hope being that his mother (Jennifer Hudson) will come back in time to take him to an acting audition that could change his life.
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete has loss in the title, but although the title is a fairly large spoiler in and of itself, it’s the journey of these two young boys that makes it worth it. Mister and Pete put their hopes, their patience, and their courage to the test as the grapple with their bleak reality and live one day at a time amid so many obstacles. Seeing the two painfully shed any illusions of childhood in order to make tough, adult decisions with no guidance and no support leaves a lasting impression.
I give this one 4.75 stars.