Stars: John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Esposito, Michael Rispoli
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance
Runtime: 142 minutes
It's important to note that Spike Lee's drama is not titled Son of Sam. Summer of Sam doesn't chronicle the killer as much as the times: the blistering hot summer of 1977 when the Big Apple's psyche was taken hostage by the lone gunman. We spot the killer (Michael Badalucco) in his mad ramblings, but the film centers on two friends from the Bronx: Vinny and Ritchie (John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody). Vinny and his wife, Dionna (Mira Sorvino), bury a bad marriage (he cheats at a drop of a hat) in the disco halls of the area. Ritchie returns to the neighborhood sporting punk hair, punk clothes, and a British accent that immediately infuriates the neighborhood boys oozing far too much testosterone. Cops, local mob leaders, and the guys on the street all have ideas who the killer is; neighborhood loners to Reggie Jackson (in the midst of World Series heroism) are on their misguided lists of suspects. When the film looks at how the citizens faced the fearful times, Lee scores with his energetic camerawork and pop soundtrack. Yet the film is banal in its domestic dramatics. The film takes large detours into Vinny's home sex life (stagnant) and Ritchie's extracurricular activities. One of the marriage arguments--though real and well acted--is so long and cliché-ridden you wonder if someone fell asleep in the editing booth. Add the point-blank killings and nonstop vulgarity and you have Lee's most unpleasant film. --Doug Thomas
Fuckin' make me sick, you fuckin' slut.
I am a slut? You're calling me a slut? You lowlife piece of shit- you fucked- my- cousin! You didn't think I knew about that! I smelled her pussy juice all over your fuckin' face! You fuckin' sick bastard! How dare you? And all this time I'm thinking there's something wrong with me. You perverted sick fuck!
Come on, get in the car. Please, baby.
Baby? Don't you dare "baby" me! I'm gonna wait here! I'm gonna wait here until somebody comes along. You know what? I'm gonna wait until some soul brother comes along in his big black Cadillac. And you know and I know that he's got a big black dick too.
Don't talk like that, just get inside the car.
Oh, fuck you!
Please, please, don't make me have to beg you. Come on- don't make me have to hurt you.
Hurt me? Don't you lay a fuckin' pinkie on me!