The Highlander

After convention comes “Mid90s”

Jonah Hill's directorial debut dazzles

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After convention comes “Mid90s”

Alex Mandanas, Managing Editor

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Mid90s can be best summed by one song: “After Laughter Comes Tears”(the Wu-Tang Clan version). The song appears in the film’s trailer and in a critical part of the film and, in my opinion, it perfectly encapsulates the movie. Both take a traditional idea (in the movie’s case, it’s the “coming of age” storyline)  and turns it into something new, amazing, and completely specific to Jonah Hill’s experience growing up in California in, you guessed it, the mid 90s.

The movie follows Stevie (Sunny Suljic) as he goes from a sweet, insecure kid to grittier, more mature teenager. He finds a new family in his group of skateboarding, hip-hop listening friends.

Written and directed by Hill (it was his directorial debut), Mid90s is almost hyper-realistic in its portrayal of Stevie’s life. Its set and mood were consistently genuine. Everything from the crumpled up trash to the film grain feels oddly natural and authentic in way that a lot of period pieces don’t.

The best part of the film was definitely the characters. They spoke and acted like real people, which was one of Hill’s main goals for the film. After writing a script, he trashed it when he decided to cast actual skateboarders and have them create alongside him.

My personal favorite was Ray (Na-kel Smith), the best skateboarder of the group with a heart of gold. He acts almost paternally towards Stevie (who doesn’t have a present father) and is his guardian angel in way, constantly trying to protect and teach him.

Overall, I loved Mid90s. It was honest and raw and incredibly well made. Though the story wasn’t all that original, Hill’s twists made his close to perfect.

Final verdict: A

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