Ethan Mao

"Weak"

Ethan Mao Review


Have you ever wanted to pistol-whip your father? Of course you have, and the chance to see someone do it on-screen is pretty much the only reason to bother with Ethan Mao, an amateurish, no-budget tale of a gay teen's revenge on his uncaring family.

Tossed out of his comfortable suburban So-Cal home when his wicked stepmother finds a gay stroke mag under his bed, 18-year-old Ethan Mao (Jun Hee Lee) hits the streets to become a hustler. After all, how else is a gay teen supposed to make a living? Work at Starbucks?

Within days, Ethan becomes chums with fellow hustler Remigio (Jerry Hernandez), who takes him under his wing, gives him a place to live, and promises to teach him the ways of the street. (One of Ethan's interludes with a fat, middle-aged john shows us that the street is pretty yucky.)

Ethan knows that his family will be out of the house on Thanksgiving, and he hatches a plan to go back to retrieve a few belongings along with a necklace that was the cherished possession of his beloved late mother. Working in secret with his younger brother to get the alarm code, Ethan and Remigio get inside the house and start gathering his stuff... but then the family comes home unexpectedly.

Rather than take the holiday opportunity to share feelings and hug it out, Ethan creates a hostage situation, using his father's gun to subdue not only angry Dad but also bitchy stepmom, mean older stepbrother, and loving younger brother. It turns out they'll all have to stay put until the next morning because stepmom has put the treasured necklace in a safe-deposit box at the bank. It's going to be a long night.

Ethan enjoys his newfound power and uses it to tell everyone in the family, especially his uptight and highly traditional Chinese-American dad, exactly what he thinks of them and how he feels he's been mistreated. A little of this goes a long way, and as the hours progress everyone comes to understand each other a little better while we glance at our watches wondering whether the movie will end with a group hug or a SWAT team assault.

The acting, directing, and production are all B to C level, which is a bit surprising since Lee's earlier no-budget project Drift is an excellent indie pick. It's kind of hilarious to watch the "making of" featurette on the DVD as the actors talk about all their preparation and method and motivation. None of it shows up on screen. Sympathy for Ethan is essential to the story's success, but he comes across as a spoiled brat who should learn to lighten up a little, even if he does have a mean father and a wicked stepmother. Chill, dude, and try to find a respectable job.

My shirt or yours?



Ethan Mao

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 10th November 2004

Distributed by: TLA Releasing

Production compaines: TLA Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Ethan Mao, as Abraham Mao, Julia Nickson as Sarah Mao, Kevin Kleinberg as Josh, as Remigio

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Advertisement
Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.