Bryan O'Dell was a young, charismatic, entertaining actor, most known in the 70's. Bryan was best known for playing Marvin, the pesky, annoying, nosy high school newspaper reporter on "What's Happening." In this movie "Youngblood" Bryan plays the title character and he portrays his character as a troubled, naive, impressionable teen accurately and he adds charm to his character especially when he's flirting with Sybil played by Ren Woods. Its hard to dislike Youngblood because he still maintains likability, despite joining a gang and being involved in violence, he still has a lot of heart and innocence. This movie is basically about young teens who are having problems at home and in the streets so they get involved with gangs for protection and for a family base but the particular gang in this movie, The Kingsmen, aren't doing drive by shootings, robbing innocent people, terrorizing their neighborhoods, nor selling drugs, in fact, when someone they know dies of a drug overdose, the Kingsmen band together to get back at the drug dealers in their neighborhood, they take the law into their own hands, though a few members of their gang dies, The Kingsmen get justice and take care of the main guys. This movie is pretty good but there seems to be some things missing from the story, like at the end, it really doesn't show what became of the characters nor how did Youngblood feel to find out his brother was one of the drug pushers. I hear there was suppose to be a sequel explaining all that but there wasn't a sequel, but sequel or not, this movie should have had a more satisfactory ending. Another thing missing was what became of Sybil, it really wasn't explained whether she was addicted to drugs or pregnant or both and it would have been a little romantic to see love blossom between Sybil and Youngblood. Another thing missing was whether Rommel played by Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs got a job and took care of his family or whether he died or not. Anyways this film is pretty good but some things were missing in the story that could have made this film a classic or iconic black film. Everyone holds their own in this movie and plays their characters naturally with great enthusiasm. Most of the black actors and actresses in this film didn't do much work after this movie because of the lack of work for blacks in Hollywood, but most of them did do acting and extra work on TV shows in the 70's, you might notice some. There were many talented actors and actresses of color in the 70's that just didn't get substantial work or their due opportunities so they became obscure. There were a few Soul Train Dancers in the nightclub dance scene that some may recognize if their Soul Train fans.
Anyways, the movie is very realistic, not a iconic movie, but a pretty good movie, better then whats out today. I was most impressed with Bryan O'Dell. I wonder what became of him. I hear Bryan was actually in his mid-20's when he did this film, he played a 16 year old but wasn't. He looked very young for his age so he always had to play people younger then him and he was believable, but his youthful looks might have been a downfall because he didn't get many grown-up parts, if he's in his 50's now, I wonder has he retained his youthful looks because if he did he probably would look 30'ish or 40'ish. I give the movie a 7 out of 10. I wish there were movies out today that try to come up with a solution to end some of the things ruining the black community. I wish people today would band together to end the drug and violence problems.