Blow

Directed by Ted Demme
Starring: Johnny Depp, PenÚlope Cruz, Franka Potente, Paul Reubens, Rachel Griffiths, Ray Liotta.
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive drug content and language, some violence and sexuality.

Review by Eugene Kopman <eugene@filmhead.com>
April 17, 2001

Blow is a true story of George Jung (Johnny Depp), a man who claims to have been responsible for, at least, 85% of cocaine import in America in the late 1970s. This has made him the most successful drug dealer in recent history, but all this success came with a huge price.

All but 15 minutes of the film is told in flashback mode, which covers George's life from early childhood to the arrest that finally put him in jail for life. From the early days, George never wanted to be a workingman; he didn't want to be like his father, Fred Jung (Ray Liotta), who after breaking his back for a construction company for 15 years to support his status crazy, materialistic wife (Rachel Griffiths), got fired. Young George swore to be different and even though his job was, he wasn't.

George decided to leave Massachusetts and moved to California with his best friend Tuna (Ethan Suplee). There he meets Barbara (Franka Potente) who first introduces them to marijuana, then helps them sell it with the help of her friend and dealer Derek Foreal (Paul Reubens). Soon enough, George and Tuna have the biggest marijuana business in America, selling countrywide by sending it with Barbara, who as a stewardess doesn't get her bags checked at the airport.

It didn't take long for George to get arrested and sent to jail. There he is told that pot is out and cocaine is in. So after he gets out, he starts selling cocaine. I don't remember exactly how many times he goes to jail, but as soon as he gets out, he starts dealing again. George gets introduced to the famous Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar (Cliff Curtis), who recruits George as his American connection. Through Escobar, he meets his wife, Mirtha (PenÚlope Cruz).

Johnny Depp does an amazing job portraying George in his powerful story about relationships, commitment and trust. The only thing keeping this movie from four stars is the horrible directing by Ted Demme who tries to steal the style of GoodFellas and miserably fails. Blow doesn't blow at all, but it left me unsatisfied.


For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
Blow (2001)

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Blow (2001) -- VHS
Blow (2001) -- DVD
Blow, by Bruce Porter -- Paperback
Blow: Soundtrack -- Compact Disc


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