surprisingly good picture about a tagger in nyc who is grappling with his past, present and future. past because of the death of his older brother/father figure who was also a tagger. present because he’s at a crossroads in his life – being an artist, possibly going to college, a new girlfriend, and peer pressure to wage war on the system. webber (storytelling, boiler room, etc.) does a good job when he needs to and is good enough throughout. jaclyn desantis has a great turn in a supporting role as an admirer of webber’s work and a political activist in her own way. she’s good looking, well-spoken and strong in her limited screen time. it’s actually with her appearance that the film turns from mediocre to quite good.
the soundtrack is another highlight. done mostly by el-p (though there’s one radiohead tune that almost steals the show), it fits perfectly with the themes and scenery. it’s not as overtly political as the title implies, and i think that turns out to be a good thing. by keeping the politics and reasons behind bombing (tagging, writing graffiti, whatever) less than clear, the film is able to skirt that iffy subject a bit. if it were overtly political or if it laid out a single, clear-cut reason for bombing, then i think it would have detracted from the film because those aspects would likely be half-baked, incomplete, or (even worse) juvenile.
the film isn’t just a film about graffiti or graffiti culture, it’s sort of a coming of age film and a film about love and artistic expression and plenty of other things. above all, it’s engaging and worthwhile.