There have been tons of the same old coming of age story in the ghetto back drop with some of them working and others not so much. The latest, Jamesy Boy doesn’t look to offer all that much new to the genre, but does sport a decent cast including Ving Rhames, James Woods, Taboo, Mary-Louise Parker, Taissa Farmiga, and Spencer Lofranco. Does this film have the power and emotion to succeed or will it just be another forgettable entry into genre that never runs short on entires?
Jamesy Boy follows the true story of a teenager goes from the suburban street gangs of Denver to a maximum-security prison cell surrounded by hardened criminals. In this unlikely setting, James ultimately emerges with hope and a brighter future. This film follows a pretty basic story that has been done hundreds of times on some level and isn’t breaking much ground. What it does do though is break up the story and use the flash back and flash forward approach to tell the story of this young man’s story in a unique way. The performances are all fine with nothing really standing out but enough to make the story powerful enough to succeed in what it is trying to do. This is a pretty by the numbers film that you can probably easily figure out where it is heading and what most of the characters are going to do, but somehow still manages to be just engaging enough to keep you interested.
These types of stories are ones that build some sense of hope in a world full of bad seeing someone turn their life around, but sadly they have been done to death and make it hard to really make them stand out. This isn’t a film that will be breaking down any walls, but is a good rental with a decent story that manages to still bring something to the table.