This week, Icon Vs. Icon’s Steve Johnson takes a look at ‘All American Bully,’ starring Adrienne King, Daren Ackerman and Alexander Fraser:
Devon is what most of the popular kids in high school would refer to as an outcast or a geek. In reality he is a mild-mannered kid who simply enjoys the company of his close group of friends, not unlike the majority of us found ourselves doing during that period of our lives. Although he tries to avoid confrontation, Devon eventually finds himself pulled into an argument with former friend John Brooks. John takes a prized collector’s edition of a book Devon had saved all of his money to buy and tears off, leaving Devon and his friends both frightened and angry. Under pressure from his friend Becky, Devon confronts John later in the day after school. What starts out as a tense conversation quickly escalates into the filmed beating beating of Devon. The video immediately finds its way to the internet and is spread quickly around school. This turn of events leads to a downward spiral of revenge and long kept secrets that ends in tragedy.
‘All American Bully’ is a powerful film that brilliantly exposes the reality of the world we live in today. No longer is bullying limited to the bus ride home or a few minutes in class. Now it can go “viral” and have severe consequences. The entire cast delivers noteworthy performances. Alexander Fraser shines as the timid Devon and Daren Ackerman is downright frightening as John. Ackerman’s performance during the last act is easily the highlight of the film. There is also a wonderful performance from ‘Friday the 13th’s Adrienne King as Principal Kane. Although her screen time is limited, she steals every scene she shows up in. The interaction between her character and Patrick Ford’s Mr. Taylor is fantastic and left me wanting more.
Writer and director Jason Hawkins deserves a lot of credit for bringing a great story to the screen on a limited budget. ‘All American Bully’ is a convincing cautionary tale that is sure to stick with you for days. Go check it out.
Rating: 4 out of 5
‘All American Bully’ is currently available on DVD, VOD, and can be found at your local Redbox
Written By: Jason Hawkins
Directed By: Jason Hawkins
Starring: Adrienne King, Daren Ackerman, Alexander Fraser
Distributed By: Wild Eye Releasing (DVD Release 2015)