The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete ★★

Film 8 on my Watched With the Wife list.

First things first, I'm being very generous giving this two stars. The majority of the film features two child actors who are average at best, but since they're children and they tried the two stars are for them.

Skylan Brooks is Mister, a 14 year old boy who's left to fend for himself along with 9-year-old runaway Pete (Ethan Dizon) after his mother is arrested and released but doesn't return home. The two spend the summer in the projects struggling to eat and hiding from child protective services.

I went into The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete hoping to like it. It was recommended to me by friend and fellow Letterboxd member justinC who loved it. Unfortunately I don't see what he saw in it. The acting is atrocious, it's full of plot holes, and much of the dialogue is painful to listen to. I can give the kids a pass because they're kids, but the acting by adults in this film was better suited for The Lifetime Channel. Singer Jennifer Hudson who plays Mister's mom simply lies around getting high allowing her son to fend for himself. There's nothing to her performance and she shows very little talent in the role. Then there's Jordin Sparks who plays Alice, she's terrible in a throwaway role as a high class hoe who is somehow friends with Mister. The only reason given for their relationship is that they used to live in the same building. The character gets zero development and ends up being completely pointless. The lack of character development may have been a blessing because I don't think I could have handled much more of her bad acting. Other characters included a police sergeant who's only goal in life seem to be chasing down kids in the projects to take them to protective services, a bum, and stereotypical convience store owner. Oh and a teacher who gives Mister an F and makes him cry to open the film. If all of that sounds ridiculous to you, it's because is.

With the main focus being the kids they're forced to carry most of the film. This is a problem because neither of them are very good. There's a subplot where Mister wants to become an actor so he carries around an advert searching for child actors. It seemed like that's exactly where they cast these two from, a first time talent audition. I wouldn't say they were terrible, they just seemed very inexperienced. The substandard writing and direction didn't help their cause. I think director George Tillman Jr. (Faster, Men of Honor) was going for the heartstrings with this one, but there's so many plotholes and poor choices for and by the characters that the whole thing derails pretty quickly. It's passable as a Lifetime movie or straight to DVD fair, but that's it.

Ron's recommendation: Skip it. I can't in good faith recommend a film this poorly made. I think the filmmakers heart was in the right place but everything else was wrong.

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