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Movie review: 'Gimme the Loot'

Posted 1:05pm on Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013

Unrated (strong language, drug use, adult themes); 81 min.


A movie about teenage taggers in the Bronx should be fast and raw, scruffy and loose, and Adam Leon’s Gimme the Loot is just that.

Shot on a thrift-shop budget, with a cast of mostly nonprofessional actors, this two-days-in-the-life adventure is surprising and (dare I say?) charming, even if its amateurism seeps through. Or maybe because it does.

Malcolm (Ty Hickson) and Sofia (Tashiana Washington) are graffiti artists, close friends who lift spray cans from stores and proudly leave their scrawl around town. When Sofia’s latest work gets defaced by a rival crew, the duo hatch an ambitious plan to “bomb the apple” — to tag the New York Mets’ Home Run Apple, the giant icon that rises from the ground at Citi Field.

But first they need $500.

And so, in a shamble from funky quadrants of the Bronx to upscale Manhattan neighborhoods, Malcolm and Sofia, with help from some friends (including hip-hop artist Meeko), go scamming and looting.

Hickson and Washington, he with his wide, mischievous grin, she with a scowl that turns to a smile and vice versa, keep Gimme the Loot going. The pair are scrappy and smart and riff off each other like a no-budget, indie version of Tracy and Hepburn. It’s impossible not to like them, and there’s absolutely no reason not to.

Exclusive: Angelika Dallas

— Steven Rea, The Philadelphia Inquirer

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