DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

THE YOUNG AMERICANS (director/writer: Danny Cannon; screenwriter: David Hilton; cinematographer: Vernon Layton; editor: Alex Mackie; music:  David Arnold; cast: Harvey Keitel (John Harris), Iain Glen (Edward Foster), Craig Kelly (Christian O'Neill), Viggo Mortensen  (Carl Frazer),  John Wood (Richard Donnelly), Terence Rigby (Sidney Callow), Keith Allen (Jack Doyle), Thandie Newton (Rachel Stevens); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Paul Trijbits/Alison Owen; Lionsgate (Live Entertainment); 1993-UK)

"It looks too much like an American gangster film for the Brits to own it."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The 25-year-old newcomer Danny Cannon ("Judge Dredd"/"Phoenix"/"I Still Know What You Did Last Summer") directs a visually pleasing mobster pic that flubs because it can't overcome the bad script written by the director and David Hilton.

John Harris (Harvey Keitel) is an experienced NY-out-of-LA detective sent by the DEA to London to help Brit lawmen investigate drug trafficking by organized crime, as related to a string of murders and the terrorizing of nightclubs. Carl Frazer (Viggo Mortensen) is the American psycho drug dealer behind the mayhem that's committed by young punks. Christian O'Neill (Craig Kelly) is the nightclub bartender who bravely goes undercover after his dad is killed.

For ambiance, the dark film fills the screen with brash coppers, inter-racial youth and grungy back-streets. It looks too much like an American gangster film for the Brits to own it.

REVIEWED ON 6/8/2015       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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