On a long, hot day in the summer of 1983, four California teenagers seeking trouble find it writ large.
Hector, Paul, George and his younger brother Andy are sitting astride their bikes—think of them as Four Musketeers, suburban style—awaiting anything they might make mischief with. Purposeless, essentially brainless, they figure any action is better than none. Then Timo Arroyo appropriates Andy’s bike because, with two low-life siblings as backup, one just out of the slammer, he knows he can. The older Arroyos are legendary thugs who’ve laid waste in their time to their town’s high school and its environs. Clearly, the Musketeers are out of their depth, but they’re teenage warriors willing to self-destruct as long as they can do so flamboyantly. They decide to retrieve Andy’s bike, which proves to be an extraordinarily bad idea. The rumble that by all rights should be a massacre ends less definitively, and the Musketeers escape alive with some startling news about how their adversaries earn their daily bread. “Arroyos are dealin’ crank,” announces Hector. A second very bad idea is to steal half a kilo of the stuff.
If your tolerance for violence, occasional sadism and bratty teens is sturdy enough, the talented Mr. Huston (No Dominion, 2006, etc.) will keep you turning pages.