Louder Than A Bomb

Louder Than a Bomb is a perfectly fine documentary about students from four Chicago area high schools competing in a spoken word poetry competition. Although interesting, the film suffers from familiarity. School kids taking part in competitions have been done plenty of times before and Louder Than a Bomb follows similar patterns: the introduction of the students, the preparation, the competition itself. The students as well fall into expected roles: the underdog, the ones from the school that won before and who want to reclaim their title, the crowd favorite. In fact, these patterns were strong enough that some of the students feel like stereotypes and become cloying to watch. There is comfort in these familiar patterns and Louder Than a Bomb would be enjoyable in the right context, but it doesn’t offer anything new enough or unique enough to push it to the top of my list.