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WAIST DEEP

Review by Gordon Justesen

Stars: Tyrese Gibson, Meagan Good, Larenz Tate, The Game
Director: Vondie Curtis Hall
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Studio: Universal
Features: See Review
Length: 97 Minutes
Release Date: October 10, 2006

“If they catch me, my son is in the system. I’M NOT HAVING IT!”

Film ***

For anyone that appreciates a good fast paced action thriller, Waist Deep is just the ticket. On the outskirts, it looks like a typical B-action flick, but co-writer and director Vondie Curtis Hall gives the film a raw look and adds in some nice little social commentary amongst the chaos of the central plot. The result is a truly thrilling, if not too provocative, thrill ride.

The focus of the film is O2 (Tyrese Gibson), an ex-criminal determined to get his life back on the straight and narrow. Now working as a security guard, O2’s main priority is the raising of his son, Junior (H. Hunter Hall). One day after picking him up from school, the worst possible scenario happens. O2 is carjacked at gunpoint, and Junior is taken away from him.

Outraged and determined to get back what’s his, O2 immediately goes on a personal vendetta. He is assisted by a pretty street hustler named Coco (Meagan Good), who he at first believed set him up. She denies the accusation and proceeds to help him out.

O2’s situation only gets more dangerous with each passing second. It turns out the kidnapping of his son was planned by none other than O2’s former criminal boss, Big Meat (The Game). He gets word that Big Meat wants $100,000 in exchange for his son in 48 hours time. With no money on hand and no other option available, O2 and Coco hit the streets of L.A. to commit a series of cleverly planned bank robberies in order to come up with the ransom.

It may sound like familiar territory, but the pacing and execution of Waist Deep make it a most exceptional action thriller. The charisma of the cast also plays a prominent part. Tyrese Gibson, who’s previous work in films like Four Brothers and Baby Boy have helped established him as a serious multi-talent, delivers another top notch and emotionally charged performance as O2. The smoking beauty that is Meagan Good is superb as a sultry love interest. The film also gets bonus points from Larenz Tate as O2’s brother with criminal ties, as well as rapper The Game, who makes a most impressive acting debut as the vicious and bloodthirsty bad guy.

Waist Deep is a stylish and in your face action thriller that barely takes a moment to stop and breathe. It’s also quite clever and involving. If you like a thrill ride that’s not at all the least bit boring, then this one right here is definitely worth checking out.

Video ***1/2

This anamorphic presentation is terrific in displaying the film’s original look, which is that of a raw, saturated and pretty gritty picture. There is a bit of grain in some of the night sequences, but that could be regarded as intentional. Overall, the picture quality is most terrific and free of any intense flaws.

Audio ****

The sound power never lets up on this presentation as the 5.1 mix delivers high in all areas. The hip-hop infused soundtrack is explosive on the speakers, and the many action scenes blasts through the channels in a mind-blowing manner. Dialogue delivery is terrifically clear, in addition. A most explosive listen!

Features ***

Included on this disc are Deleted Scenes, an Analysis of a Scene featurette, an additional featurette titled “Drive-By Filmmaking”, and a music video for the song "Bad Girl" by Black Buddafly featuring Fabolous.

Summary:

Waist Deep is a perfectly executed action thriller that will satisfy fans of the genre entirely. It’s fast paced, in your face and contains a well crafted plot to boot. Definitely not a Waist of time!

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