Better Luck Tomorrow (2002)

[4.0]

A group of Asian-American high schoolers get bored of being diligent students and begin dabbling in criminal activity. Before long, they’re in over their heads and regretting everything. You don’t get to know any of the characters very well, except that one is a loose cannon the others keep in check by occasionally beating him up a little. There’s a love interest for one of the boys, and even a love triangle. The triangle leads to the movie’s darkest, climactic, and most provocative moment. But apart from that turning point, Better Luck Tomorrow bored me.

If I knew the characters better before they waded into the deep end, I might have gotten emotionally invested in their fall from grace. The film also strained my suspension of disbelief by glossing over their transformation from dorks to feared gang members in one, handy musical montage.

With John Cho and a brief cameo by Jerry Mathers (Leave it to Beaver). Directed by Justin Lin (Star Trek: Beyond, Fast Five).

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