The setting is 'Columbus' University, where freshmen arrive believing that they're there in pursuit of higher learning, wilder parties or whatever - whereas what they're really after is some individual sense of sexual, racial or political identity: hard to achieve when they also want to belong, and when various teachers, cliques and loudmouths are out to influence them. Among the newcomers are Malik (Epps), a black athlete who soon has to work and run harder than expected, and finds himself caught between the conflicting attitudes to racial struggle of Fudge (Ice Cube) and Professor Phipps (Fishburne); Kristen (Swanson), a gullible WASP who after being date-raped falls under the spell of feminist Taryn (Connelly); and Remy (Rapaport), a gauche misfit whose loneliness renders him prey to the camaraderie of local neo-Nazis. A stylish, intelligent film-maker, Singleton interweaves the threads of his demographic tapestry with assurance, passion and a welcome awareness of the complexities of the college community's contradictory impulses towards integration and separatism. Minus points: some schematic stereotyping and a rather sniffy attituted towards lesbianism.
Cast and crew