Bomb the System

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Is graffiti just the work of juvenile delinquents, or perhaps the unappreciated expressions of subversive urban artists whose anti-establishment political ideas lead them to treat any wall, automobile or subway car as a canvas?

If you’re undecided on the issue, you might enjoy Bomb the System, a  gritty, inner-city drama which graphically depicts the lifestyle of these self-styled rebels with a can.

The film not only celebrates indiscriminate spray painting (AKA bombing), but an out-of-control lifestyle equally obsessed with sex, drugs, smoking, alcohol, menacing, murder and criminal behavior in general.

This critic was surprised to learn that it is very important to these macho kids that they never pay for their paint, which keeps them very busy as shoplifters. This riveting docu-drama suggests that when not blessing vacant space with their colorful nicknames like "Showboat" and "Egomaniac" they leave counter-cultural messages such as "Danger: Police State" around.

It is quite illuminating to see exactly how these industrious operators ply their trade, such as cutting out a stencil, so that they only need a few seconds to leave their mark. The film features a superficial storyline, some silly claptrap about a kid whose mom wants him to wise-up and attend college before he runs afoul of the law.

But the flick's fast and furious pace prevents the audience from ever caring about any of its anti-social characters. Still, Bomb the System's more than worthwhile for offering an eye-opening look at the type of perpetrators who keep our cities covered in graffiti, creeps you'd otherwise never see, since they generally operate under the radar, emerging only in the middle of the night, and slipping back under their rocks by dawn.

Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rating: R for nudity, graphic sexuality, illegal drug use, pervasive profanity, ethnic slurs, and gratuitous violence.
Running time: 92 minutes
Studio: Palm Pictures

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