Picks and Pans Review: South Central

updated 11/09/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/09/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

Glenn Plummet, Christian Coleman

While this drama about black gang life in Los Angeles isn't terribly exciting, that's partly because of its virtues: the solid direction of Steve Anderson and the sturdy, well-nigh foolproof drama of Plummer, a reluctant member of a gang called the Deuces, struggling to save his son from sharing his fate—which has included a couple of decades in prison as well as a drug-addicted wife. The movie could have used a more personable child actor than Coleman, and Anderson's script (based on the novel Crips, by Donald Bakeer) is over-explicit in spelling out the need to break the cycle of violence that has afflicted generations of blacks. Plummer, though, is always worth watching—unsentimental and slightly remote. This is a man who has learned who he wants to he and now is terrified that he might forget. (R)

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