Alpha Dog

SEXY? WACK Timberlake, right, discusses hostages with Hirsch.
SEXY? WACK Timberlake, right, discusses hostages with Hirsch.

Time Out says

Most of us like to ring in a new year determined to improve. Universal Pictures, however, has decided to tarnish 2007, not even two weeks old, with the worst movie of the year: Nick Cassavetes’s cruddy Alpha Dog. Smuggled into theaters nearly 12 months after it closed the Sundance Film Festival, Alpha Dog is based on the true story of Jesse James Hollywood, a rich SoCal creep who was one the youngest people ever on the FBI’s most-wanted list. Sybaritic, monosyllabic, wealthy adolescent Angelenos play at being baddies, led by head cretin Johnny Truelove (Hirsch). Meth-addled Jake (Foster) hasn’t paid Johnny the dollars he owes him, so he kidnaps Jake’s kid brother with the help of henchman Frankie (Timberlake).

Treading disastrously on the teenage wasteland already fetishized in a million Larry Clark movies, Alpha Dog scratches its balls and sniffs its own butt, cynically playing its noxious characters and story line as rough indie cred. Even Clark’s prurience toward his dead-end kids is far nobler than Cassavetes’s pathetic slumming in thug life. “I fuck bitches. You’re a homo,” Frankie says to one of Johnny’s more obsequious goons. Note to Timberlake: Keep your dick in the box; three-minute SNL sketches are far kinder to your talents than a feature-length movie. But then again, even those performers born before the Reagan administration cluelessly endure their ignominies: Bruce Willis with bad hair plugs, Sharon Stone in a fat suit, Harry Dean Stanton with a potty mouth. Alpha Dog will leave you reaching for the beta-blocker. (Opens Fri; Click here for venues.) — Melissa Anderson



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