The new movie “White Boy Rick” would be impossible to believe even happened, were it not for that fact that this is a true story. Is it possible for any child born in 1970 in the declining years in the inner city of Detroit Michigan while being raised by a lowlife single father who is a gun runner to succeed in life? In a poor depressing environment in the mid-80’s in Detroit where a 15 year old kid by the name of Rick Wershe Jr. is born, is it even possible barring some miracle that someone like this could amount to anything but someone who dies young from a drug overdose, a drive by shooting or winds up in prison? What are your options? Your education is a disaster and your father is a gun runner. Very few ever make more out of a life like this – born to you because of where you are and who your parents are. I was most amazed by this true story because its about a young white kid of 15 who was used by the FBI to spy on a group of drug pushers who are all black. Somehow, he was able to get into their group and then somehow, was able to help the FBI get information to arrest them. How he was then treated by the police and FBI is another amazing part of this true story that was hard to believe. On top of all of this, his sister was a drug addict that left their home and lived in flop houses in local Detroit squalor.
This movie was well acted by Matthew McConaughey and newcomer Richie Merritt – who seemed very adept and getting the mumbling incoherent dialogue of not only that period in the 80’s but also to meld with the black drug pushers that he was able to become friends with. The downside of this is that very often its hard to understand what he is saying much of the time. The actor Bruce Dern was also in this movie, playing the boys grandfather and he also does a very good job despite his advanced age.
This movie as an average rating of 60% on Rotten Tomatoes and for me I would have given it about a 70%. I was surprised that McConaughey had so little screen time, given that he is supposedly the star of this film. I give a solid recommendation to White Boy Rick.