IMDB Rating: 4.0 (222 votes)
Studio: New Line Home Video
Starring: Tony Amendola, Penélope Cruz, Cliff Curtis, Johnny Depp, Dan Ferro
Summary: A briskly paced hybrid of "Boogie Nights" and "Goodfellas", "Blow" chronicles the three-decade rise and fall of George Jung (Johnny Depp), a normal American kid who makes a personal vow against poverty, builds a marijuana empire in the '60s, multiplies his fortune with the Colombian Medellín cocaine cartel, and blows it all with a series of police busts culminating in one final, long-term jail sentence. "Your dad's a loser," says this absentee father to his estranged but beloved daughter, and he's right: "Blow" is the story of a nice guy who made wrong choices all his life, almost single-handedly created the American cocaine trade, and got exactly what he deserved. As directed by Ted Demme, the film is vibrantly entertaining, painstakingly authentic... and utterly aimless in terms of overall purpose.
We can't sympathize with Jung's meteoric rise to wealth and the wild life, and Demme isn't suggesting that we should idolize a drug dealer. So what, exactly, is the point of "Blow"? Simply, it seems, to present Jung's story as the epitome of the coke-driven glory days, and to suggest, ever so subtly, that Jung isn't such a bad guy, after all. Anyone curious about his lifestyle will find this film amazing, and there's plenty of humor mixed with the constant threat of violence and paranoid anxiety. Demme has also populated the film with a fantastic supporting cast (although Penélope Cruz grows tiresome as Jung's hedonistic wife), and this is certainly a compelling look at the other side of "Traffic". Still, one wishes that "Blow" had a more viable reason for being; like a wild party, it leaves you with a hangover and a vague feeling of regret. "--Jeff Shannon"