In today’s day and age, the youth live in a time where materialism reigns supreme and if you’ve got the latest Jordans or iPhone, you’re “the man” and if you don’t, well you’re kind of a nobody. The new film “Kicks” is the perfect coming of age story as it tackles these issues and rides the line of materialism and what makes a man.
“Kicks” tells the story of fifteen-year-old Brandon who longs for a pair of the freshest sneakers that money can buy, assuming that merely having them on his feet will help him escape the reality of being poor, neglected by the girls his own age and picked on and taunted by everyone – even his so-called best friends. Working hard to get them, he soon finds that the titular shoes have instead made him a target after they are promptly snatched by Flaco, a local hood. Brandon goes on a mission to retrieve his stolen sneakers. What follows is a powerful exploration of the cultural importance of sneakers, how aggression and masculine pride often go hand in hand, and the endless cycle of violence in the inner city.
The plot of Kicks was inspired by first-time director Justin Tipping’s own real-life beat down at the age 16. Raised in El Cerrito, on the border of Richmond, California, he was walking in West Oakland wearing brand new, customized, all-white NikeID Air Prestos. A group of guys approached him over the shoes, and though they didn’t end up stealing them, they did give him a black eye and a bloody lip. The violence was bad, but what followed was even more hurtful. At school, everyone taunted him for getting beat up – as if the act itself was okay.
For every sneakerhead and millenial who just loves to see a good movie with a gritty backdrop, a real concept and captivating characters – Kicks is the film to see!
Written By: Monique C. Tillman