Director Joel Schumacher whose credits include teenage genre films such as, “St Elmo’s fire,” and “The Lost Boys,” doesn’t seem to stray out of his comfort zone in his latest lurid offering.
Based on the novel written by Nick McDonell, “Twelve” is the story of a 17-year-old drug dealer called White Mike (Crawford). The son of a restaurant owner who lost his mother to breast cancer a few years earlier, White Mike has taken a break from his senior year in high school to sell drugs to his wealthy buddies on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. When he’s not coasting the streets delivering weed to his peers, he’s reminiscing about his lost childhood and philosophizing about life enter an unseen Keifer Sutherland who narrates the flick. Despite his booming business, White Mike leads a double life concealing his activities from his childhood friend Molly (Roberts), but the two lives collide when his drug addicted cousin is found brutally murdered in a nearby housing project.
With lots of eclectic characters all navigating through the confusion and challenges of being a teenager, “Twelve” is a drama set in the world of privileged teens living and partying in Manhattan with lots money to burn, and very little to do. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson plays Lionel, the main supplier of a new designer drug called twelve (a cross between cocaine and ecstasy) which becomes the new drug in demand hence the title.
With a solid, talented young cast, “Twelve” is shot with compassion and with clear respect for the characters and their hang-ups. Schumacher, who obviously understands pubescent pressure may have selected a piece of material close to his heart, but it’s just too bad that it’s merely another sensationalized version of a ‘teenager’s woes’ simply repackaged for the big screen. In other words, we’ve seen it all before on television (“Gossip Girl”) and this one, despite being made well, offers nothing new.