Larry Clark’s Bully is like ”Kids,” his exhibitionistic 1995 debut, with even more downy teen nudity and a more apocalyptic dose of heavy handed youth doom. The film is based on Jim Schutze’s novelized account of a 1993 youth culture murder in South Florida, but for all of Clark’s docu flavored noodlings, ”Bully,” with its smooth skinned cast and demonized adults, doesn’t feel very authentic. It’s more like a porny and gruesomely didactic fusion of ”River’s Edge,” ”Lord of the Flies,” and ”I Know What You Did Last Summer.”
Nick Stahl, as the evil young rapist Bobby Kent, has a beetle browed glower that makes you want to see him get it, and as his friends gang up on him, brandishing knives and guns, he does. The movie’s brew of exploitation and guilt is messagey in the worst way, but maybe that’s because the plot is merely an excuse for Clark’s overhyped revel in wild pubescent style (he has particular affection for Bijou Phillips bursting out of her cutoffs and halter top). ”Bully” keeps you watching, but the most naked thing about it is Clark’s desperate insistence that voyeurism equals truth.