In this iconic coming-of-age story, we follow the growth and hardships of Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.), and his friends, Doughboy (Ice Cube), and Ricky (Morris Chestnut) as they navigate the dangerous streets of their south central LA neighbourhood.
Tre is sent to live with his father from a young age after his mother (Angela Bassett), whom is pursuing several post-graduate degrees, decides that a father’s touch is needed to keep her brilliant son out of trouble. Tre moves from Watts to Crenshaw, where his father, Furious (Laurence Fishburne), does his best to teach his son discipline, and instill character.
Tre is the only one of his friends with a father present in his life and this becomes his anchor as violence swirls all around him. Doughboy does his best to withstand his mother’s verbal abuse and open favourtism of his handsome, accomplished younger brother, Ricky, even as he slips deeper into gang life, while Ricky has his hopes pinned on a football scholarship so that he can escape an otherwise bleak future and provide for his new son.
Once tragedy strikes, however, Tre is forced to grow up. The question becomes, though, whether to adhere to the teachings of his father, focus on the real enemies of racism and cyclical poverty that keep the people in their neighbourhood like crabs in a barrel, or fall into the abyss of rampant violence and gang retaliation that’s become the decaying cornerstone of so many lives.
Boyz N the Hood is an eye-opening and socially relevant journey into manhood has stood the test of time beautifully and and is, unfortunately, as relevant today as it was when it first debuted in theatres.
I give this one 5 stars.