Boyz N The Hood

                                                              

 

      Why is it that there is a gun shop on almost every corner in this community?.....  

           I'll tell you why. For the same reason that there is a liquor store on almost    

             every corner in the black community. Why? They want us to kill ourselves.

 

The story begins in 1984 with 10-year-old Tre Styles and three other youths heading to school, during which they come across a crime scene. At school, Tre misbehaves and receives a three-day suspension after fighting with a classmate. In a phone conversation Tre's mother, Reva, seems angry at the white schoolteacher on the telephone yet is also tired of Tre's disobedience. She decides to send him to the Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles, where his father, Jason "Furious" Styles lives. Furious instructs him on his household responsibilities, which include cleaning and taking care of the house. Although these tasks seem unfair and harsh, Furious explains that learning responsibility will make Tre a man and keep him from ending up dead or in jail. During his first night in his new home, Tre has his first experience with gunfire.

The next day Tre meets up with three old friends, half brothers Ricky and Darin (Doughboy) and a boy named Chris; Doughboy and Ricky live with their unmarried mother. The boys walk along train tracks to the site of a dead body, they are then harassed by a gang of teenagers who steal Ricky's football. Doughboy picks a fight with an older, stronger boy; he ends up getting backhanded in the face and kicked in the stomach. The ball is returned to Ricky through the philanthropic actions of another older boy, a rare act of kindness between strangers in the film. Furious, who appears to be the only father present in the neighborhood, takes Tre on a fishing trip, where he warns him about unprotected sex and instructs him to use condoms. The pair then returns to Crenshaw, where a handcuffed Doughboy and Chris, who was not handcuffed, are being led by police officers into a squad car for stealing, and later put in juvenile hall.

Seven years pass. At a party at the Baker home, Doughboy has just been released from prison, he sits at a table playing dominos with Chris (now confined in a wheelchair), Dookie, and Monster. Ricky mans the grill and holds his newborn baby son Ricky's girlfriend and son live at home with his mother Brenda. Tre arrives at the party and is greeted by Brenda; she asks him to pass his responsible behavior to Doughboy. Tre tries to talk to his girlfriend Brandi but he becomes nervous and she leaves in a huff.

Furious and Tre have another conversation about sex; this time Tre boasts he had unprotected sex with a girl while her mother was at church. The story is pure fantasy; Tre is still a virgin, but Furious does not know this; Furious berates Tre for not using protection. A montage of scenes follows explaining more about main characters: Ricky is a star running back for Crenshaw High trying to get into college; Doughboy, a highschool dropout, spends most of his time hanging in the neighborhood drinking and dealing drugs; Tre hopes to attend college with Brandi, whose sexual abstinence is part of her Catholic faith.

A college USC recruiter visits Ricky one night for an interview; Brenda kicks Doughboy and his friends out onto the porch where they discuss college, then girls. Meanwhile, the recruiter promises Ricky a berth at USC if he earns a minimum SAT score of 700.

Ricky struggles during the test, looking to Tre for help, and seems unsure of passing. Later that day, Furious tells the boys that the English section of the test is culturally biased and only the math is fair. Furious drives the boys to Compton and lectures them and a group of Compton citizens on gentrification, explaining how violence and drugs divide the black community by decreasing property values, allowing real estate companies to buy the land cheaply from black residents and sell it at a profit to developers. The influx of white investment money raises property values and taxes, pushing out the remaining old residents in the process. Furious tells the crowd that the rest of the nation will not help the urban poor because they are not personally affected by the violence -- the blacks must rely on themselves to end the cycle of violence plaguing the neighborhoods.

That night Ricky is provoked by Ferris, a local gang leader, and Doughboy pulls out his pistol to defend his brother and the scene degenerates into gunfire, though nobody is hurt. While speeding away from the scene, Tre and Ricky are pulled over by the LAPD. One officer is the same officer who had responded to Furious's emergency burglary call in 1984. He is a hateful African-American cop who, fully enjoying the power his badge allows him, shoves a gun in Tre's face and asks him what he will do about it. On the verge of tears Tre arrives late to Brandi's house; later that night they sleep together.

The next day, Ricky, annoyed when his girlfriend tells him to go get a box of cornmeal, provokes a fight with Doughboy. Brenda rushes to Ricky's aid while neglecting Doughboy, even slapping him, further amplifying that she values Ricky and his impending scholarship more than Doughboy. (At this time, Ricky's SAT scores are delivered by a sunglasses-wearing mailman, but we do not see the results until later.) Ricky and Tre head to the grocery store, but they are spotted by Ferris and his gang. In an attempt to escape, Ricky and Tre split up. As Ferris and his crew drives around to catch the two, they drive by Ricky's and Doughboy's house- where Doughboy realizes Ferris and his crew are after someone. Then he remembers the incident between Ferris and his brother and rushes to his car with his friends behind him in an attempt to get to Ricky and Tre before Ferris does. However, Ferris and his crew spot Ricky alone walking towards them with his head down. After walking towards the car not paying attention Ricky then tries to run in the opposite direction. A man rolls down the window and shoots Ricky in the leg and abdomen, killing him. He dies in Tre's arms while Doughboy, Monster, Lil Chris and Dookie arrive at the scene too late. His body is taken home by Doughboy and his crew. Brenda immediately blames Doughboy, who tries to comfort her but is rebuffed. Later on that night Brenda sobs over Ricky's test results, he earned a 710, just enough to qualify for the scholarship.

Doughboy, Dookie, Monster, and Tre vow revenge on the enemy gang; Furious finds Tre holding his .357 Magnum pistol, seemingly ready to go shoot someone. He convinces Tre to put the weapon down but Tre escapes out his bedroom window to join Doughboy and the gang as they search for the killers in Doughboy's low-rider. That night Tre decides to leave, getting out of the car; Doughboy accepts Tre's decision quietly. Later the gang finds Ricky's murderers and Monster guns them down drive-by style with an AK-47. Doughboy shoots one of the injured gang members in the back, killing him. As a wounded Ferris begs for his life and screams that he wasn't personally responsible for Ricky's murder, Doughboy pauses for a moment before shooting him. Monster and Dookie proceed to shout at Doughboy telling him to hurry up in case police arrive.

The next day Doughboy tells Tre that he's fine with Tre's decision to leave the car before the shooting, and that he knows he might be killed soon. Doughboy seems to have changed, realizing that his drug dealing and crime played a part in the ongoing violence in the ghetto; nevertheless, he recognizes that Ricky's death was senseless even in the context of their world. He also seems resigned to his fate and despondent about the overall situation in the neighborhood and his perception of societal indifference, stating "either they don't know, don't show, or don't care about what's goin on in the hood." Before the credits roll it is mentioned that Doughboy is murdered two weeks after Ricky's funeral, but that both Tre and Brandi go on to college.....

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Movie Script

Directed by John Singleton
Produced by Steven Nicolaides
Written by John Singleton
Starring Cuba Gooding Jr.
Ice Cube
Morris Chestnut
Laurence Fishburne
Music by  
Distributed by Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Release date(s) July 12, 1991
Running time 102 min.
Language English
Budget $6,000,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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