The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete


hat sucks about this movie sucking is that the acting is so wonderful. Not one cast member fails to provide a performance that is less than stellar.  Skylan Brooks (Mister) is extremely impressive. He shows the duality of a boy stuck at a crossroad with no idea where either direction will take him; only that he can’t stay where he is. Ethan Dizon (Pete) is the cutest little out-of-place Korean ever put on-screen. What’s sad is that, as good Dizon is, the character contributes nothing to the story that couldn’t have just as easily been accomplished by a puppy.

Jennifer Hudson (Gloria) demonstrates her range and Oscar-winning worth by presenting two distinctly different Glorias. The first is a heroin addict in active addiction, and the second is a new addict-in-recovery scared of what’s going to happen to her outside the safety of her rehab clinic.


Special mention must also be made of Anthony Mackie (Kris) who plays the “pimp with a heart of platinum.” He has the harsh demeanor of a ghetto pimp and drug lord, but he honorably upholds the “no snitches” code of street by “taking care of” the man who rats out Gloria, putting Mister and Pete in the situation they are in.

With all of these wonderful performances, how can a movie go so wrong?

It starts and ends with the script. Characters are introduced that have no bearing on the story. Alice (Jordin Sparks), for example, shows up as potential help for Mister. She cares about him because she used to live in the same projects and was able to get out. But when the moment comes for her to pay it forward, she leaves with a promise to return in an hour, but never comes back and no further mention is made of her.

An ancillary character who does help advance the story is Sergeant Pike (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). Pike seems to be on personal quest to make sure that every child of a New York City jail inmate ends up in a group home simply because their parent is an accused offender. He is the obvious antagonist, but when did the police start looking for children who don’t have any warrants out and haven’t been reported as missing? Hmm…

The final, and admittedly nit-picky, thing that makes the movie hard to watch is actually a marketing problem. The movie takes place over the course of a summer. So why was it released in the fall? It just feels awkward.


Rating: R for language, some drug use and sexual content

Running time: 108 minutes

Grade: C –

Verdict: Don’t let the rhyme of the title fool you.

1 Comment

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