Bomb Rating: 

For all the embarrassment Ted ("Life") Demme is going to suffer for having made "Blow," he might as well have dashed into the intersection of Hollywood and Vine, pulled down his pants, and waved his Director's Guild member around for everyone to see.

I say this because Demme has actually done something worse than pull his pants down in public -- he's revealed to the entire world what a complete idiot he is. That's right; director Ted Demme is a moron, and here's why: Filming a so-called "true story" requires the director to demonstrate the mental capacity to separate the elements necessary to the film from those that are not; to filter opinions from fact; and to create characters that are representations of reality and not representations of one man's altered vision. Demme is trying to tell this story from drug smuggler George Jung's (Johnny Depp) point of view, yet Demme doesn't consider for one second that all the pot Jung smoked and all the cocaine Jung snorted may -- just may -- have affected his perception. Wouldn't any sensible person, any person with even a shred of intelligence, consider that possibility?

Like the women in many a rap song, the women in "Blow" are portrayed as bitches, pure and simple. Starting with Jung's mother (Rachel Griffith), continuing with his wife, Mirtha (Penelope Cruz), and ending with his daughter, Kristina (James King), they're the apparent reason George's drug smuggling career ends with a life in prison. It isn't because he's an idiot who didn't know when to quit, because drug smuggling is bad, or because his friends betrayed him -- no, it's because of those damn bitches and their psychotic personalities. George's life is miserable because the women in his life never lived up to his expectations, unlike his saintly father (Ray Liotta), who could do no wrong.

Demme stops at nothing to try to portray George Jung as a tragic hero. In addition to blaming crazy women for George's troubles, Demme pretends that drug smuggling is something that just sort of happens to a guy. Like nice, hapless George just happens to become the biggest drug smuggler in the United States. He walks into the hairdressing shop of Derek Foreal and -- whoopsy! -- they become the biggest cocaine dealers in America. Damn, I hate when that happens.

So, George's mother turns him in, his wife becomes a raving cokehead who eventually takes George's daughter away, and the daughter, in the very end, won't come and see George in prison. The final pain of the film, as if being stabbed with Demme's defective intellect for two hours weren't torture enough, comes when Demme flashes a picture of the real George Jung on the screen. You know what? I don't need to see that. I don't need to see that because I'm not interested in seeing the picture of a convicted drug smuggler whose business probably helped ruin the lives of millions of people and whose greed, obsession and disregard for others led him to where he is today. I don't care if he dies in prison from untreated gangrene. The man is scum of the earth. If Jonathan Demme wants to eat the guy's shit, that's his business.

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Alex's picture

I really liked this movie, but I see your point. It is a bit self righteous and doesn't really hold George accountable.

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