Bomb The System

on May 27, 2005 by Tim Cogshell
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"Bomb the System" is a culture film. The subject is graffiti, or rather graffiti artists, and their compulsion to roam the streets of the naked city with cans of spray paint, looking to make a mark for themselves--literally. Here, the characters include Blest ("Broken Flowers'" Mark Webber) and his crew of Bombers, always on the run from the graffiti cops, the ghost of Blest's dead graffiti artist brother always present. As is true with all culture films, there's a philosophy and a code of conduct amid the anti-authoritarianism. Some of it is interesting, but for the most part "Bomb the System" (slang for a particular theme of quasi-political graffiti writing) is a didactic ode to a lifestyle that makes little sense, no matter the darkly romantic rebel-with-a-cause ideas associated with what is essentially an act of vandalism.

Narratively, the storyline is banal and often badly performed, though the actors are less at fault than the script, which is dedicated to making its point, and does so repeatedly with long, expository speeches during which all the characters explain exactly how they feel. Visually, writer-director Adam Bhala Lough achieves some interesting flourishes, making good use of a low budget and mismatched film stock. Starring Mark Webber, Jaclyn DeSantis, Gana Grills and Jade Yorker. Directed and written by Adam Bhala Lough. Produced by Ben Rekhi. A Palm release. Drama. Rated R for pervasive language, drug use, some violence and sexuality/nudity. Running time: 92 min

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