Gimme the Loot

Directed By: Adam Leon

Starring: Ty Hickson, Tashiana Washington, Zoë Lescaze, Meeko, Sam Soghor, and Joshua Rivera

The New York Mets have an interesting tradition for celebrating home runs.  Whenever a player knocks the ball straight out of the park during a home game, a giant apple rises out of Shea Stadium with the Mets' logo front and center.  The apple rising is a pivotal moment in any Mets game and presents an interesting opportunity to claim some fame for those who are bold enough, particularly those who have a love for writing graffiti.  Director Adam Leon brings this all to the forefront in his indie comedy Gimme the Loot.

Malcolm (Ty Hickson) and Sophia (Tashiana Washington) are partners.  They hit the streets of the Bronx everyday tagging anything and everything with graffiti that often reads "Sophia Shakes".  They've recently been clashing with another group over territory and want to make a name for themselves.  They want to do so by tagging the Mets' apple at Shea Stadium.  Many have dreamt of "bombing the apple".  None have succeeded.  By doing what no one else has been able to do over the last 30 years, they would instantly become famous and would have mad respect on the streets, respect they desperately want.

Pedro, a friend who works at Shea Stadium, wants $500 for giving them access to the giant apple.  That's a lot of cheddar for two teens.  To get the money, Malcolm and Sophia go their separate ways.  Malcolm goes to do some deliveries for Donnie (Adam Metzger), a local drug dealer, and meets a wealthy white girl named Ginnie (Zoë Lescaze) whom he wouldn't mind loving or robbing.  For her part, Sophia goes to collect some cash from Champion (Meeko) and some other people who owe them money.  Meanwhile, these two partners begin to wonder if there's something more to their friendship.

I have only one complaint about Gimme the Loot.  Clocking in at only 81 minutes, I can't get enough of this refreshingly authentic and relentlessly irreverent indie comedy.  I simply can't get enough.  Adam Leon has crafted an endlessly charming character piece where the trash talking never ever stops.  He casts just the right actors to deliver the edgy yet sweet performances that are needed to pull this off.  Along the way, Leon loads the film with some lighthearted social commentary about life on the streets and a society of haves and have-nots.  This all makes for one hilarious film.  Ultimately, Gimme the Loot has a rough exterior, but a heartwarming interior.

Our two leads are absolutely perfect.  As Malcolm, Ty Hickson proves that he really has the gift of gab.  This young actor has something to say about everything.  Hickson talks trash for days in this movie and keeps us laughing in the process.  Tashiana Washington deserves kudos for her nuanced performance as Sophia, a young girl trying to do her own thing on the streets.  She's young and naïve, but you can't help but love her in this spunky indie comedy.  I also have to call out Meeko for his hilarious performance as Champion.  This dude is just here to show the young folks a little something because they think they know everything already.  In Champion's mind, he's a professional at life on the streets.  They're just newbies.  Meeko brings this mindset to the forefront time and time again with his tough-talking brand of humor.

Beyond the comedy and the budding romance in the air during Gimme the Loot, Leon loads the film with some really good old school tunes.  I found myself bobbing my head and tapping my feet quite a bit when I wasn't crying from laughter.  Literally, there was no dull moment during this movie.  It had my undivided attention from start to finish.

Though we never see Malcolm and Sophia bomb that apple at Shea Stadium, Gimme the Loot is a film that just keeps getting better and better as it progresses.  It's hilarious.  It's endearing.  It's distinct.  It's a film where talking trash is paramount.  Ultimately, this trash talking is the rough comedic exterior to all that’s warm and fuzzy about this movie.  What's not to love about that?  Again, my only issue with the film is that I didn't get enough of it, and that's hardly a complaint at all.  I love this movie.  I really do.  Gimme the Loot gets a sober rating.