The film tells the story of Rick WersheJr, Wershe at the tender age of 14 became the least experienced operative in the FBI. It has been getting mixed reviews since opening in cinemas.
Directed by Frenchman Yann Demange who’s extensive knowledge of the Detroit legal prejudice to the African-Americans is clear to see throughout the film. The Paris born director has enjoyed a critically acclaimed career thus far with independent film 71’ winning various awards, including British Independent Film Award for Best Director.
“White Boy Rick” tells the awkward story of Rick, a young boy who we first are introduced to in the 1980’s joins his old man to a gun show. Here they elude local scam artists to steal two high-quality AK-47’s, with Ricks dad hoping to sell them for a big-money on the black market.
Indeed, this is a story not meant for the family as they don’t reflect standard father-son behavior. Matthew McConaughey stars as Rick’s father (Richard) while problematic sister, Dawn is played by BelPowley. Dawn epitomizes the problems within the family with her estranged relationship with her father combined with further problems with a drug-addict boyfriend.
Rick’s grandparents only lived opposite him and are constantly disapproving of the behavior and actions of the younger generation. When the selling of the weapons is occurring, Rick is accompanied by his father- as a kind of mascot- this is where the nickname of \”White Boy Rick\’ is first given to him by the African-American drug dealer.
The story finally starts to gather pace when Rick is approached by Detroit drug Detective who wants to learn about how Detroit drug houses operate in exchange for money. Prior to this, Rick is also approached by FBI agents Frank Byrd and Alex Snyder, also looking to find out more about what is happening in Detroit.
“White Boy Rick” really falls short of its competition when it comes to the dark comedy that fellow crime stories such as “Baby Driver” and “GoodFellas” has. In fact, some of the story might be too serious and the feature desperately craves that comedy element.
However, there is critical acclaim for McConaughy and Richie Merrit who play father and son respectively. This has been called the biggest breakout of the year by certain reviewers. McConaughy adds that much-needed experience to the cast which is very much needed.
There has been a certain level of discontent with the film by author Evan Hughes, who claimed that “White Boy Rick” falls short on the truth of the matters. Claiming that the truth was in fact that the African-Americans were treated as a minority and “sent up the river” mainly down to the unequal drug laws in Detroit. Hughes has high-standing within the story of Rick as he wrote the book “The Trials of White Boy Rick”.
Overall, the film is worth seeing with solid performances from actors you will be seeing a lot more of in the future. However, the limitations are overwhelming with certain elements completely missing and the story feeling jumpy and rushed.