Out of Bounds (2020) Review

A typical urban drama plot, but with a lot of heart and with a main character with a lot more going on than you would usually expect.

Certificate: 18

Director: SD Green

Screenwriter: SD Green

Starring: Deyonte Tatted Hunter, Tenichi Garner, Shalonda SJ Johnson

Genre: Crime, Drama

Runtime: 82 Minutes

Rating: 3 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

A Copy of this film was supplied to me in exchange for an honest review

Travis Elliott is a high school senior and star basketball player from Memphis, Tennessee. With graduation approaching, Travis has dreams of playing college ball and making it to the pros. Unfortunately, circumstances reroute his plans, and now he’s no longer chasing a dream…he’s running from a harsh reality.

What this film really has going for it is it’s characters.  It’s plot is not all that original for an urban drama, so there needs to be something to make this stand out.  All the characters here have a lot going on other than what you see on the surface.  It would be easy to say that these young men made the easy choice to fall into criminality, but the point of this film is to show that that decision isn’t always about what is easy, or what is right, but more about what is necessary, or how you can keep your family fed.

At the start of the film Travis is an innocent party, his older brother doing everything to keep him away from the street life.  He has a promising future playing basketball and going to college and going pro.  But after his brother is put in jail and his girlfriend falls pregnant, Travis finds himself in a situation where he needs to make money fast.  So he starts out doing small jobs to make money for a lawyer and then it all just starts to snowball.  His character is an interesting one, and he goes through a lot of changes throughout the film, while still trying to hang on to his sense of right and wrong, even if those lines get a little blurred by the end. The plot keeps you engaged the whole time, even if you think you know where it’s going, though I would never have anticipated those last few minutes. It’s fast paced and ultimately in the end, surprises you.

Both the main female characters Naomi and Eva, have really interesting stories.  Unlike a lot of Urban Dramas, where a lot of the female roles are traditionally relegated to ‘Wife’ ‘Sister’ ‘Love Interest’, these women have complex personalities and some really great background stories that I wish we could have heard, or seen more of.  Eva’s story in particular takes a really dark turn towards the end of the film that I was not expecting at all, and I would have liked to follow her story a little more than what we got.  I feel it would have made that shocking ending feel a lot more emotional had we known her and her son a little better.

With this being many of the actors first appearance in a feature film, or there first appearance in any film in some cases, as well as being a directorial debut for SD Green, there are some moments where the inexperience shows.  But I don’t think it detracts from the film.

If this looks like something you would enjoy ‘Out of Bounds releases 25/12/2020 on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play, ITunes, Vudu and YouTube Premium

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