By Cynthia Fuchs,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Fast-paced action drama is for adults only.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
In order to save his kidnapped son's life, O2 kills, steals, lies, breaks into a home, robs banks, and harasses criminals.
Violence & Scariness
Carjacking at start features much shooting on L.A. street; thug beats Coco, O2 beats thug, Coco kicks downed thug; villain introduced as he hacks off a worker's arm with machete (brief, close shots of bloody arm and stump); O2's face and head bloody after fight/pistol-whipping; flashback shows Coco's son's blood on sidewalk after he's "hit by a stray bullet" several shootouts, one leading to a death; O2 shoots Big Meat point blank, after Big Meat has run out of bullets.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Coco shows leg and breasts to distract policeman and criminals; typically improbable sex scene (mid-missing-son crisis) shot as extreme close-ups of limbs and faces.
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Characters curse just about nonstop: at least 94 f-words, some 70 s-words, and other profanity.
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Products & Purchases
Dealer in stolen designer clothing names/shows array (Versace, Prada, Phat Farm, Sean Jean, Gucci, Valentino).
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Coco smokes cigarettes, stops when young boy gives her a disapproving look; Lucky smokes marijuana, drinks a 40 oz.; drug factory shows cutting and packaging.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie isn't for kids. It includes frequent and graphic violence, as well as incessant profanity (over 90 "f--k"s, for starters). The film begins with a carjacking that becomes a kidnapping. It includes multiple shoot-outs and car chases, with blood shown. The chief villain first appears chopping off a man's arm with a machete (bloody arm and stump visible). The protagonists break into a home to hide out, rob several banks in one day, and share a brief sex scene (close-ups of limbs and faces). A woman smokes cigarettes, drugs are smoked and dealt, and one character drinks malt liquor from a bottle while driving.
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Where to Watch
Based on 2 parent reviews
i love the move but i want to know what happen at the end of the movie to 02 how did he survive?
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What's the Story?
Newly released from prison, O2 (Tyrese Gibson) is a security guard and dedicated single father to Junior (H. Hunter Hall). That said, his messages are somewhat mixed: When he learns Junior beat up a boy who picked on him at school, Dad is visibly proud even as he instructs his son not to fight. When his car is stolen with Junior in it, O2 shoots up half the street, killing several bad guys, but he loses his son. O2 sets out to recover Junior with the help of Coco ( Meagan Good). O2's shifty smalltime crook cousin Lucky (Larenz Tate) finds out the boy is being held by Big Meat (rapper The Game). Due to their history as former associates, Big Meat -- who runs a major drug operation, in addition to dealing stolen goods -- wants $100,000 for Junior's return. Distraught father and feisty instant-girlfriend go on a bank robbing spree, labeled in media-moments "a modern day Bonnie and Clyde." The inevitable showdown between O2 and Meat is grim, and sets up a much grander clash between O2 and what looks like half the LAPD.
Is It Any Good?
Loud, fast, and skillfully assembled, WAIST DEEP follows the model of old school B-movies: It makes social and political points under the guise of a generic action plot. While the plot is overtly ludicrous and extremely violent (nearly every scene leads to a shoot-out, beating, or car chase), it works against a background day-long demonstration, "Save Our Streets."
Scholar Michael Eric Dyson (who recently wrote a book criticizing government responses to Hurricane Katrina, Come Hell or High Water, and here plays a radio commentator) and demonstrators weigh in on the "terror in our streets," brought on by poor education and foster care systems, and lack of funding and security. Even as O2 wreaks all kinds of mayhem to rescue Junior, the point is that none of them should be in this position, where criminals run the local economy and the cops are perceived as enemies.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the father's dedication to his son: How does his promise to "always come back for" Junior motivate his illegal actions throughout the film? Why does O2's cousin fail to keep his promises? How does Coco's relationship with O2 inspire her to quit her street hustling and become maternal for Junior? How does the movie's background activity -- the demonstration to "Save Our Streets" -- compete and coincide with O2's apparently necessary violence?
- In theaters: June 23, 2006
- On DVD or streaming: October 10, 2006
- Cast: Larenz Tate, Meagan Good, Tyrese Gibson
- Director: Vondie Curtis-Hall
- Inclusion Information: Black actors, Latinx actors
- Studio: Focus Features
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: for strong violence and pervasive language
- Last updated: April 3, 2023
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