It's tempting to imagine director Larry Clark (Kids, Bully) as a stranger crouched in the bushes outside the local high school with his hand pumping underneath his trench coat, but that picture isn't entirely truthful. His bad films, like the notorious Ken Park, merely make it seem that way. An accurate mental image of Larry Clark should also include a jaunty beret atop his head and a distinguished pipe between his lips -- for Clark is a renowned artiste as well as a shrub-lurking deviate. He's the world's leading teenage-flesh auteur!
Clark's latest, Wassup Rockers, retains many of the hallmarks of his previous films -- a loose narrative, a nonprofessional cast, a keen interest in the fringes of contemporary teen culture -- while also experimenting with a more subdued and at times upbeat approach to the film's subject matter. The result is a strangely whimsical, poorly crafted film that leaps from one cinematic style to another without warning or reason, aiming for coming-of-age pathos in one scene and B-movie camp in the next.
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