Better Luck Tomorrow
<strong>Rating: </strong>5/5Rate this
Time Out saysShot for peanuts, noticed at Sundance and eventually distributed by Paramount and MTV, Lin's first solo feature (like Shopping for Fangs, which he co-directed with Quentin Lee) spends more time avoiding Asian-American stereotypes than it does making sense of its characters and plot. In essence, it's a SoCal high-school movie in which the protagonists just happen to be of Asian descent. 17-year-old star pupil Ben Manibag (Shen) allows boredom and bad company to draw him into a parallel life in a criminal gang; one nosebleed too many later, he comes to his senses. Meanwhile he's emotionally racked by his ambiguous friendships with classmate Steph (Cheung) and her odd, rich-kid boyfriend Steve (Cho). Things go pear-shaped towards the end with a grisly murder and an attempted suicide, both owing more to Screenwriting 101 than to the character psychology as sketched. Decent performances, though, and you can see why MTV liked the flashy editing style.