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Criminological Theories in "empire"

Essay by   •  April 21, 2016  •  Book/Movie Report  •  2,834 Words (12 Pages)  •  889 Views

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Joseph McGrath

Movie Analysis

Soc 3620: 1530-1645

Criminological Theories in "Empire"

The movie "Empire" is a dramatization of the life in the shoes of one of four heroin dealers in the New York City area known as South Bronx. It is a story told by Victor Rosa, the main character referred to by many as Vic, as the viewer follows him around the city

The movie begins by naming all the main drug dealers and their territories across the South Bronx region, Victor's territory noticeably bigger than the others. Out of the four competitors, we only see one that Victor has any trouble with later in the movie and that is the drug dealer known as Tito. Tito is another successful, Hispanic drug dealer who sells his product in the territory just south of Victor. Due to the location of these two territories it isn't uncommon to see a pedlar cross into another dealers area of sales. The first outbreak of violence between the two gangs erupts after Victor is informed by an appointed leader in his crew that one of Tito's men had been witnessed selling their product across the "invisible line". Usually these gang leaders wouldn't handle business themselves but when it comes to cutting into their profits, that is when the leader of the crew must make a statement by taking matters into their own hands. Victor and two of his men show up on the street corner where they find Tito's men continuing to push their product. The two members Victor arrived with proceed to raise their weapons at two of the opposing members keeping them at bay while Victor vigorously beats the one holding the product and cash, the same pedlar who had crossed the line. When he is finished he tells the opposing crew why it was necessary to be handled that way and then takes their stash and leaves the block. Later on, Tito finds out that Victor had shown up and is very upset at the fact his men overstepped the boundaries that he and the leaders of each gang had agreed upon. This is mainly in part to the fact that he and the other gang leaders had agreed to be civil with one another and that any crew could show up wherever and attend the same establishments without any trouble. As victor stated in the movie, "we are all pushing the same product, right?"

Later in the movie Victor gets out of his truck to do something, leaving his newly pregnant girlfriend in the passenger seat. As he is walking down the sidewalk he hears another nick name he goes by, "V". As he turns to look he is shot twice in the chest. He is robbed and then seen being rushed to the hospital where he is cared for and surprisingly survives. His wife is sitting next to him when he finally wakes up screaming in pain. Eventually he is released from the hospital and its back to work he goes. At some point he finds out that it was in fact Tito that had sent a hit man to take him out for what he had done to the members of his gang earlier. He rounds up a few of his most trusted and loyal men and orders a hit on Tito where it'll hit the hardest, his place of residence where he lives with his little son. When they show up the fire round after round through the windows and walls without an ounce of concern for the bodies the countless bullets enter. When the finally make it inside the find Tito on the couch still shooting and a woman accompanying him with two pistols. Victors gang takes her out while also hitting Tito a few times. Tito continues to fire back until finally Victor himself sneaks up behind him and executes him point blank. After the gunfire seizes Vic and his gang huddle up in the living room around Tito's lifeless body and discuss the events and pride themselves as individuals and as team mates. As they are in the middle of "celebrating" a noise comes from the corner of the room. With tensions still high and adrenaline pumping, Jimmy, one of Victors right hand men turns and fires without looking. They all look over and their skin goes pale, jaws drop and the room fills with silence. The camera pans over to the corner where the noise came from and zooms in on a lifeless young boy. It was Tito's son that Jimmy had just murdered. This is the part in the movie where Victor decides because of situations like this and the fact he has a baby on the way, he is done dealing drugs and turns to a man he had met while attending a party with his girlfriend. The upscale business man, Jack Wimmer, worked on Wall Street and had captured Victors attention. While showing off his expensive and eloquent home he and Victor discussed taking Victor and his money to the legal side of things. He convinced Victor that investing his money with him in order to make money. This relationship eventually caused problems between Victor and his girlfriend and they separated. Shortly after their separation Victor starting making reckless decisions, and Jack noticed this. He capitalized by offering Victor a deal he couldn't refuse, an opportunity to make over 300% return on investment. The only stipulation was that it would cost Victor $4.5 million dollars to buy into this opportunity. Vic couldn't turn it down even knowing he was $1.5 million shy of the total value. This is when Victor makes the most reckless decision of all, meeting with the drug lord that supplied him and the other dealers in the area, La Colombiana. He presents the offer to her and she agrees but only if he pays back 500% upon receiving his earnings and settles the dispute between his boy Jimmy and a member from another gang so that business can continue uninterrupted. Jimmy follows through on his end and receives the money in which he delivers straight to Jack. Once Jack has the money he skips town but is eventually hunted down by Victor, who demands to have the money back. When Jack and his girlfriend refuse to return the money, Victor kills them and runs off to Puerto Rico with everything he has to open a bar as well as trying to hide from the debt he is in because of this deal gone wrong. The movie ends as his plan fails horribly and he is suddenly shot and killed by a hit man sent by La Colombiana, a woman who din't get to where she is by allowing people to skip on payments.

As we look at organized crime groups such as the mafia, gangs and/or trafficking rings, either human or drug, we notice many things each group has in common. One such trait is the need to obtain the "American Dream" and all that is associated with it. In order to do this these groups have structured themselves like that of a successful corporate empire but



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