Film Review: Neo Ned

TITLE: Neo Ned
DIRECTOR: Van Fischer
RELEASE: 2005
STARRING: Jeremy Renner, Gabrielle Union

PLOT SUMMARY

Ned is a neo Nazi skinhead sent to a mental hospital for the murder of a black man. While committed he meets another patient, a black woman named Rachel, who claims to be possessed by the soul of Adolf Hitler. Together these two might be just what the other needs…

WHAT I THOUGHT ABOUT IT . . .

Netflix’s streaming service has to be so convenient, doesn’t it? After watching Dahmer I clicked on Jeremy Renner’s name to see if there was anything else on the instant streaming that sounded interesting. The plot of Neo Ned sounded kind of wild… so naturally I had to watch it. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting. Maybe something dark like American History X? But it’s a whole lot better, I think.

This was an easy movie to follow. I was pleasantly surprised by the tone of this film. Yes, Ned is a racist but it’s like he does it to try and stand out, to be noticed more than any actual conviction in an ideology. It’s all part of his desire for a family, to want to belong even if it’s something like the Aryan Brotherhood. He does things for attention and by his own admission he thinks he wouldn’t be so messed up if he had more time to spend with his father between the old man’s stints in prison. It’s romantic and a bit quirky. Overall Neo Ned is a rather light-hearted film that contains brief glimpses into the darkness of the human soul.

Although the relationship between Ned and Rachel starts off rocky it quickly becomes evident that these two light up the screen with their sweetness. You can see how Rachel challenges the vulgarity that Ned spouts and it causes him to change. Rachel teaches Ned how to love instead of hate, which is fully realized when he sacrifices his old self to the fire, and Ned shows Rachel that the only way to escape the horrors of the past is to face those demons. Although you may think you know how it ends, it might surprise you.

I would definitely like to watch this movie again.

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