I was extremely excited to watch White Boy Rick after seeing Matthew McConaughey in the previews, but the movie itself was a very slow and anticlimactic telling of a truly sad story. The movie focuses on how Richard Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt) became the youngest FBI informant. Richard, or “white boy Rick,” was approached by FBI agents who pressured him to help them find and expose key players in the Detroit drug trade industry in the 1980s. His family was experiencing financial trouble, so Rick originally agreed to assist the FBI in order to help his dad (Matthew McConaughey) afford his dream business—a movie store.
This movie focuses on drugs, gangsters, and corruption, yet it was one of the slowest movies I have ever watched. Rick, as a character, rarely expresses a wide range of emotions. His voice is almost monotone the entire movie. This doesn’t seem like an acting failure on Richie Merritt’s part; on the contrary, the acting in this movie was probably one of its few saving graces. Matthew McConaughey was entertaining to watch, as per usual, but the acting can only save so much. McConaughey also did a wonderful job in his performance for Gold, and that was another movie that fell short… Hopefully this doesn’t become a trend in his career.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact problem for this movie. Perhaps it was a lack of action, or the music score wasn’t quite right. Maybe it was the long, drawn out scenes that didn’t add to the story. Regardless of the cause, this movie was a definite flop. Save your money.
*If you take my advice and sit this movie out, I do recommend looking into the real story of Richard Wershe Jr.