We gave it a B
A clique of Asian-American high school students become bad-boy criminals, even as they remain tightly wired academic stars; they turn delinquency into the ultimate extracurricular activity. Cowriter-director Justin Lin has captured something new: the tenor and style of an Asian-American youth culture that sees no contradiction between punk aggression and brainiac fervor. The hero, Ben (Parry Shen), pushes himself to a place that isn’t ultimately plausible, yet Lin works with rhythmic observational flair. At times, the film feels like a John Hughes triangle with edgier DNA. Still, it’s a long way from Long Duk Dong.