George Jung (Johnny Depp) didn’t have the best imaginable youth with his loser-dad, so when he groes up he and his buddy Tuna (Ethan Suplee) move to Callifornia where they are immediately introduced into a youthfull world filled with sun, sex and softdrugs. Pretty quickly the duo starts to sell marijuana and they do pretty well. When they run into a friend from their hometown and find out that the homelands are crying for pot, they start to smuggle marijuana in large quantities and make a lot of money. This is possible with the help of George’s Callifornian girlfriend Barbara (Franka Potente) who is a stewardess.
Then the money gets to George’s head and he makes contacts in Colombia to get larger amounts of marijuana faster. With the help of Derek Foreal (Paul Reubens) who they bought their first pot from, they sell huge amounts very rapidly. Then George gets caught and spends some time in prison. There he hears about cocaine (something new in that time) which he is also able to get in Colombia and he becomes the first to import it to the USA. Also with the help of Foreal George manages to sell 50kg in three weeks time, which brings him under the attention of the biggest Colombian drug-baron. For a while Jung is the only importer of cocaine in the USA and he makes millions of dollars. When he breaks up with Barbara, the Callifornian groups falls apart. Later George meets a new girlfriend called Mirtha (Penélope Cruz) who he marries. Then his business-partners betray him and George is out of business and he even is caught by the police with the help of a former friend.
All this is told in the modern crime-film-manner. The film indeed reminds a bit of “Boogie Nights” and maybe even a film like “Snatch”, “Thursday” or “Sexy Beast”, but it is not as violent and funny as these.
The film is based on “the book by Bruce Pollar” and supposedly “based on a true story”.
All in all quite a nice film, but not brilliant.