Pups

  • 2000
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Thriller

At the center of this ultra low-budget hostage thriller by self-styled guerilla filmmaker Ash is the chilling and timely spectacle of an angry teen wearing a smiley-face T-shirt and waving a loaded gun. The film contains flashes of intelligence and even humor, but never really moves beyond the power of that central image. One bright California morning,...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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At the center of this ultra low-budget hostage thriller by self-styled guerilla filmmaker Ash is the chilling and timely spectacle of an angry teen wearing a smiley-face T-shirt and waving a loaded gun. The film contains flashes of intelligence and even humor, but never

really moves beyond the power of that central image. One bright California morning, 13-year-old Stevie (Cameron Van Hoy) finds his mother's gun on the top shelf of her closet and, with his girlfriend Rocky (Mischa Barton) along for the ride, impulsively decides to rob a bank on the way to school.

Stevie steps into his local branch and pulls the gun, but within minutes the place is surrounded by squad cars, a SWAT team and the FBI, led by Agent Daniel Bender (a sleepy-sounding Burt Reynolds). At first Stevie and Rocky are thrilled — it's all so real, it's just like a movie. Stevie

demands pizza and his MTV, which eventually arrives in the form of an on-air interview with Kurt Loder. But as the afternoon wears on, Stevie accidentally shoots a security guard, the six hostages start getting antsy, Stevie's chronic asthma gets worse and his vague plan of escaping to the

Galapagos Islands looks more improbable than ever. Ash owes an obvious debt to DOG DAY AFTERNOON and clearly wants to add something to the ongoing discussion about kids and firearms. But as in his earlier effort, BANG, the filmmaker is better at setup than follow-through; his film is full of

interesting thought fragments, but no real ideas back them up. By the second hour, Stevie has screamed himself hoarse and is doing magic tricks with a $100 bill; Bender is rambling about testicles; a hostage has told a dirty joke about a penguin; and Ash's film has burned itself out.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: At the center of this ultra low-budget hostage thriller by self-styled guerilla filmmaker Ash is the chilling and timely spectacle of an angry teen wearing a smiley-face T-shirt and waving a loaded gun. The film contains flashes of intelligence and even hu… (more)

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