Trapped in Detroit
Release Date: January 01, 1997
Starring: Tim Roth, Tupac Shakur &
Audience: Older teenagers & adults
Runtime: 82 minutes
Director: Vondie Curtis Hall
Executive Producer: Ted Field, Russell Simmons &
Producer: Damian Jones, Paul Webster &
Writer: Vondie Curtis Hall
Address Comments To:Russell Schwartz, President
a Co-Venture of Polygram Filmed Entertainment & Universal Pictures
9247 Alden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Tim Roth plays Stretch, who plays piano in a jazz band accompanied by his roommates, Spoon (Tupac Shakur) and Cookie (Thandie Newton). The movie begins with Cookie going into a coma from a drug overdose. Spoon and Stretch drag her to a very busy emergency room, where the doctors tell her she has a 50-50 chance of recovering. The idea of losing their friend, lover and lead singer causes Spoon and Stretch to go on a city-wide search for a drug rehabilitation program that will take them. Because they do not have insurance or Medicare, the men must deal with bureaucracy. They fill out many forms and are told that they must wait from 10 days to six weeks to get treatment.
With each by-the-book response from government workers, Spoon and Stretch get increasingly frustrated. To further complicate matters, they are suspected by the police of murdering a drug dealer. They did not do it, but they did take the remaining drugs from the recently murdered dealer. They had hopes of selling the stuff to finance kicking their habits. Other drug dealers hunt them down when they discover that Stretch sold them a bogus VCR, a brick-filled VCR box. When a crisis comes, Stretch and Spoon conceive of a plan that will keep them alive and put them into a hospital emergency room. This plan could get them off the street and get the medical attention that would help them to kick their habits.
The only redeeming quality of this film is the way it unfolds into chaos. It is a fine example of repeatedly slamming against walls while trying to progress. Roth and Shakur perform adequately, but the nuances of their struggle are obscured by the excessive amount of angry, obscene words. This movie is a good contender for having the greatest number of obscenities in a movie this year. The violence, drug use and dirty streets are also unpleasant to watch.
Gridlock refers to traffic jams on throughways. These two men personify the stagnation that resists their desires to better themselves. Without God, however, their circumstances dictate continued hopelessness. GRIDLOCK’D really does not have any of the elements of true comedy. While their desire to reform is noble, it is difficult to sympathize with men who are crooks and drug addicts.
GRIDLOCK’D might become a landmark film, because it is the last production by Tupac Shakur, who was gunned down last September. With life mirroring art and art mirroring life, GRIDLOCK’D stands as a testament that all of us must take responsibility for our sinful actions or face the consequences.
In this movie, the nuances of the struggle of these men are obscured by an excessive amount of angry, obscene words. This movie is a good contender for having the greatest number of obscenities in a movie this year. The violence, drug use and dirty streets are unpleasant to watch. Since Tupac Shakur was gunned down before its release, GRIDLOCK’D might stand as a testament that all of us must take responsibility for our sinful actions or face the consequences.