The 1990s was a magical time in music and culture. Mid90s is a film that celebrates that vibrant, hesh culture by taking viewers on a wild adventure of self-discovery through the eyes of a young boy as he deals with issues at home.
In his directorial debut, Jonah Hill presents a film that feels not just authentically 90s, but authentically California. There are elements and scenes where you could feel Hill’s personal touch, but the rest was basically a modernized Kids (which debuted in 1995) with a dash of Dope.
The main character is a young boy named Stevie (Sunny Suljic) who eventually gets nicknamed “Sunburn.” While taking half-hearted effort survive his unstable home life, he yearns for escape from his toxic, twisted reality: his mother’s unstable dating life and brother’s affinity for black culture (sans the people) and bullying. If that wasn’t enough, he deals with life’s problems by self-harm.
But everything about his life changes when he visits a local skate shop. The foul-mouthed, weed-smoking band of misfits appeal to Stevie immediately, as it’s something brand-new to him. Everything about him from his music to his clothes changes immediately… But not all change is good. One can only imagine the type of adventures that take place when affiliating with older kids named F***S*** (Olan Prenatt) and Fourth Grade (Ryder McLaughlin).
I give Mid90s a 7 out of 10. The film was real, honest, comical, and had a nice soundtrack. I do think they went overboard with some of the lines (I can only take so much extraneous usage of the n-word), the film doesn’t have a real direction aside from the fact it’s through the eyes of Stevie, and I’d be remiss to mention the extremely awkward scene with a teenage girl. While I did enjoy the film, it fell short of all the hype that was built around it. A festival success that will no doubt have an underground following, trust me when I say you can Redbox this.