Waist Deep | Chicago Reader

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A better-than-average urban crime picture, with a strong narrative line and astute recycling of classic noir themes. A paroled ex-con (Tyrese Gibson), bumping up against California's three-strikes law, gets jacked by a thug who takes his car and his son; the boy winds up in the clutches of a brutal gang lord, who gives the father 24 hours to deliver a $100,000 ransom. This is spoiled by an absurd coda on a tropical beach, but until then it's dark and perverse enough to set some of the action against a neighborhood antiviolence campaign. Vondie Curtis Hall directed; with Meagan Good and Larenz Tate. R, 97 min.

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