Though it boasts an eye-catching roster of supporting performances — Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Jeffrey Wright, Anthony Mackie — most of the running time is spent with Mister (Skylan Brooks) and Pete (Ethan Dizon), and both child actors hold your attention impressively.
A rough and rough around the edges tale of children growing up on the mean streets of the wrong side of Brooklyn. It’s a coming of age story of a self-absorbed, downtrodden punk with a dream who learns about the love that comes with responsibility.
Like its title, Inevitable Defeat is simultaneously gritty and overstuffed, feeling more like the product of first-time screenwriter Michael Starrbury than veteran director George Tillman Jr., though that’s not always for the worse.
A wonderful document of inner-city oppression and two young actors' beginning steps, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete struggles to establish a cohesive center, and ultimately fumbles any tension on the path toward its title's possible fate.
The real defeat in this ambling fairy tale of hardship, abandonment and resilience is that two potentially winning central characters -- and the tender young actors who play them -- are let down by a programmed screenplay that’s short on narrative muscle.