Between Benicio Del Toro's greatness, this being the only movie I "love" that has Michael Douglas in it, and the art of freebasing taught by the kid from "That 70's Show", you'd think I'd have plenty to say about it.
As fun as Eric Forman is, the idea of spoiled high school kids doing drugs drives me crazy. No one likes rich kids, or worse yet, every one loves rich kids and that's why Hollywood keeps putting out shitty stories about wealthy children who are sad because there parents don't pay proper attention to them. I don't like that story. Spare me the sadness for the child born with the silver spoon in his mouth, but it does get more interesting when said spoon because a prop in drug abuse. It's fun to cheer against these kids though, I will admit that.
Another little tidbit about this movie is it is Tony Montana's right hand man in it. In fact, if Steven Bauer was never killed by Tony Montana, his role in this movie is probably what his life would've turned out to be. Traffic is almost an alternative ending to Scarface, which is another reason why it's good.
The main reason why it was received well, as mentioned above, is Benicio Del Toro. I never really knew who he was until this came out, and this put him on my good list. His attitude and swagger in this is awesome and he does everything right. He's a character with no regrets, well, aside from watching the kids play little league baseball at the end. I understand that's a moment of peace for him and a happy ending, but we live in a time now where a single man with no children watching children play is creepy, no matter what. There's no longer anything we can do about this.
The secret reason why this movie is semi-rewatchable though is because of the presence of Don Cheadle and Luis Guzman, almost like its Boogie Nights all over again. Not that there was going to be a Traffic 2, or anything, but it's horrible when they kill of Luis Guzman in this movie. It's so rare you find two male actors with great chemistry together and these two make the movie fun. As
continues with its diminished ideas, a great movie would have been the Cheadle/Guzman Cop/Buddy flick (no need for a talking pie). It's may be too late for this now, but any avid film watcher who's seen this, and Boogie Nights knows how good these two are together. Put them in a movie with that late 90s feel, where they play nice light-hearted crooked cops and you'll have a fun film, I promise. Hollywood