“They say that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Maybe that’s true. Maybe it isn’t. I only know this: it has to make you better. It has to.” – Tommy at the end of the movie.
I watched 10th and Wolf tonight, after long wanting to see it. It was an entertaining watch. It wasn’t the best movie that I’ve seen, but it was certainly one of the better ones that I’ve seen lately. If I had to give it a numerical rating, it would get a strong 7. It seems that my assessment is in line with what the “reviewers” at IMDB think as well.
The movie stars James Marsden (Tommy) as a tough, sullen Gulf War vet who comes home to his old neighborhood with a mission given to him by federal agents, played by Brian Dennehy (Horvath) and Leo Rossi (Thornton).
Tommy is faced with the decision to help his cousin, Joey (Giovanni Ribisi), with whom he grew up with as a brother, after Tommy’s Mob father was shot when he was 12. Joey has followed in the path of his father and uncle and still rules his corner of town with force.
February, 1991. Tommy, a Desert Storm marine dismayed that the US isn’t taking out Saddam, breaks some rules and faces hard labor. An FBI agent offers him an out: go home to his gritty, dockside home in Pennsylvania and help get the goods on an Italian heroine dealer; in return, no prison time and no arrest of Tommy’s brother Vincent and cousin Joey. Loyalty to family conflicts with loyalty to the code of the street. Can Tommy sort it out, protect his brother and cousin, and stay true? Do young men die – in the sands of the Middle East and on the mean streets of the US – for no reason?
There’s lots of violence, strong language, and one shot of nudity, so its got (pull)all the particulars of a feature film(/pull). I think that the film certainly portrayed a gritty picture. It was reasonably convincing. Certainly Ribisi carried the show. He played the character of Joey perfectly, introducing just enough recklessness and unpredictability to make his character the most believable. The movie was somewhat predictable, but had some good twists and turns that kept you thinking. If I wasn’t cleaning the floors at the time, I probably would have been closer to the edge of my seat (as I would have been sitting). This movie is worth a rental.