‘Boogie’ Review: ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ Creator’s First Feature Is a Victim of Its Own Critique

‘Boogie’ Review: ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ Creator’s First Feature Is a Victim of Its Own Critique
With his best-selling autobiography “Fresh off the Boat,” chef and restaurateur Eddie Huang eloquently explained the othering of Asian Americans. He’s also a hip-hop and basketball fan. His feature directorial debut “Boogie” concerns a talented Tawianese American high school basketball player, the Queens native Alfred “Boogie” Chin (Taylor Takahashi), and his bid to earn a college scholarship. The road, of course, isn’t easy. The family’s bills pile up. His temperamental father (Perry Yung) is now on parole. His mother (Pamelyn Chee), who mercilessly berates her husband, is verbally and physically abusive.

If Huang focused on the trio’s fraught dynamic, this coming-of-age story would elevate to the basket. Huang’s first feature, however, for an aimless, senseless, undramatic sports flick.

Boogie is an incredibly unlikable character. Muscle-bound, swaggering, and a hip-hop baby — he first locks eyes with a headstrong Eleanor (Taylour Paige) — he’s not exactly the
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