Although based on a true story, White Boy Rick suffers from an identity crisis. What’s it about – Rick? (Richie Merritt), or his Dad? (Matthew McConaughey). We get caught up somewhere in the middle of a father and son living on the edge of desperation in 1984 Detroit.
The film has its moments of suspense and intrigue, but easy to lose interest in watching people suffer in near-poverty and self-destructing under the weight of hopelessness. Illegal gun running and drug dealing seem to be their only means of survival.
It’s not a pleasurable movie to watch, in fact, it’s downright depressing. It boils down to watching a 17 year old kid get a life sentence for drug dealing, while his dad who taught him how to break every law at an early age walks away a free man. Sadly, the real guilt lies with the father, not White Boy Rick.
The tragic storyline doesn’t take away from really great performances by newcomer Merritt and McConaughey. It’s simply a modern day morality tale with an immoral conclusion.