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Film / Juice

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Juice is a 1992 American crime drama film directed by Ernest R. Dickerson, who co-wrote the screenplay with Gerard Brown. It stars rapper Tupac Shakur and Omar Epps. Additional cast members include Jermaine "Huggy" Hopkins, Khalil Kain, and Samuel L. Jackson.

The film touches on the lives of four youths growing up in Harlem. It follows the day-to-day activities in the young men's lives starting out as innocent mischief but growing more serious as time passes by. It also focuses on the struggles that these young men must go through everyday as well such as police harassment and their families.


  • Apathetic Citizens: The partygoers near the end, who not only seemed to miss the gunshots outside, but are completely oblivious to the gunshot wound on Q's arm.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Bishop’s death shakes Q up, to the point where he’s completely speechless, and expresses disapproval when one partygoer claims that he now has “the juice” that Bishop previously sought after and acquired by force. Bishop’s character arc was based around the fact that he just wanted some respect after spending almost every waking moment of his life tormented by Radames and his crew, and the fact that his father was raped in jail. However, that thirst for respect drove him down a much darker path than Q. While Q wants to earn respect legitimately, Bishop wants to earn the way Radames did; through intimidation and waving a weapon around. It’s implied that Q knows the true complexity of Bishop’s lust for respect, and possibly thought he could get him some help, hence he decided against just killing Bishop.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Bishop, who's been acting like a hard ass the entire film, pleads for Q, whom he just tried to murder, to help him when he(Bishop) is dangling several stories above the ground.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Radames spent the whole film victimizing Bishop and his friends, as well as a bunch of other kids in the neighborhood. To say that nobody is shaken by his death (other than it being an example of Bishop finally becoming an Ax-Crazy murderer) is an understatement.
    • Bishop, though it’s treated in a more Alas, Poor Villain manner. All of his actions starting from the second act of the film completely earned him his fate, but Q can’t help but feel guilty for not being able to hoist him back up before falling to his death.
  • Ax-Crazy: After Bishop shoots and kills the store clerk, he demonstrates that he has no qualms about murdering anybody else, as well, thus making him increasingly dangerous.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: When Bishop actually tells Q to his face that he was the one responsible for all of Bishop’s crimes, and that he was the one chasing Bishop, not the other way around. Far from simply being an alibi or a way for Bishop to throw off the cops, it’s presented as unsettling and clear an example of Bishop’s Sanity Slippage as it seems.
  • Big Bad: Gradually, Bishop.
  • The Big Rotten Apple: The film's setting being in Harlem, NY.
  • Disney Villain Death: Bishop meets his end by falling off the side of a high-rise building.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Bishop boasts on, about tiring of the harassment by police, gangs, and a local bodega owner.
  • Foil:
    • Highlighted in an argument between Bishop and Q. While Bishop wants to gain respect through fear so that no one will mess with him, Q wants to earn respect legitimately through his passion for DJing.
    • Radames and his crew are a bunch of teenaged troublemakers that skip school, much like Raheem and his crew. However, while Raheem's crew just hangs out playing video games and causing harmless mischief, Radames' clique is hostile and antagonizes just about everyone they come across.
  • Foreshadowing: Bishop's reaction to Radames making light of his father's rape in prison, flying off the handle into a Berserker Rage, implies that he has a much more unstable side deep down.
  • Frame-Up: Bishop tries to frame Q for the murders of Quilles, Raheem, and Radames, as well as the attempted murder of Steele.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's heavily implied that the experiences that Bishop's father had in prison affected his overall outlook.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Bishop falls into the trope on certain occasions.
  • The Heart: It's clear that Raheem is the level-headed leader who holds the group together. After his death, the tensions between the group escalate.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Acknowledged by Q when he tosses his gun in the river. Upon purchasing the gun, he becomes much more paranoid and almost shoots an innocent old homeless man because he jumped out at him in an alley. He decides that if he needs to defend himself against Bishop, he’ll fight him hand to hand, possibly even invoking You Wouldn't Shoot Me on him.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Bishop was originally just a Chaotic Neutral who was tired of constantly being harassed, who eventually loses it as he kills a store owner, his best friend, his bully, and nearly kills one of his other closest friends.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Q nor Steel can't tell anyone that it was Bishop who killed Raheem, unless they want to be the next victims.
  • The Lancer: Bishop is this to Raheem, when the group is in their prime.
  • Le Parkour: Bishop and Q successfully evade the cops doing this, leaving said cops dumbfounded.
  • Lethal Chef: Steel.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Played With. Bishop tends to act extremely cocky when he knows his friends will back him up. Later in the film, when Q and Steel decline helping him, he fights them off and shoots Radames in an alley.
  • Never My Fault: Bishop blames Raheem, for trying to take the gun away from him, resulting in the latter being killed by Bishop with it.
  • Only Sane Man: Quincy.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Raheem seems more concerned that killing Quiles wasn't part of the plan rather than the fact that they murdered someone.
  • Revealing Hug: During Raheem's funeral, Bishop talks to his dead friend's mother and lets her cry on his shoulders. While this is happening, Bishop gives a cold and arrogant stare to Q, because Q knows that Bishop killed Raheem and threatened to kill him and his friends if he told. Q stares back, realizing what a monster Bishop is.
  • Skipping School: It's the four friends' regular pastime.
  • The Sociopath: Bishop.
  • Talking in Bed: After sex, Q entertains the idea of spending the whole night with Yolanda, then making her Breakfast in Bed. Yolanda, however, would prefer to do the cooking. She leaves the bed to get ready for work at the hospital.
  • Wham Line:
    "I am crazy, but you know what else? ..I don't give a fuck."
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Defied by Q. He buys a gun specifically to shoot Bishop for the very likely chance that he might be coming to kill him but tosses it in a river as the stress and paranoia stacks up, and he feels like he might be stooping to Bishop’s level.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Q invokes this trope at Bishop, who corners him in a crowded elevator. The answer is yes, he would.