Download Formats: M4V, AVI, MTS, MKV, M2TS, 3GP, ASF
original title: SuperFly
duration: 1h 56min
tags: Redefine The Hustle
On this day, June 18 of the year 2018, I attended a ten hour-long orientation at UNC Charlotte, which was largely boring and tiring. It made me feel somewhat exhausted about the thought of being only halfway through college. Sometimes when I think of this, I feel a personal lack of motivation to work hard and do my best. I often need a refresher to get me back on track, such as looking at Miami condos on Zillow or listings of the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S on CarGurus. Today, I decided to use my MoviePass on a movie that would flash everything nice about money, which in turn would motivate me. Hence, we have Superfly.
Hearing that it was directed by a guy who only had experience with Drake music videos, which is not a good resum辿, I had major doubts. It would probably end up being as crappy as the Tupac movie, which was also directed by a music video director. While there was a lack of a coherent plot along with cringe-worthy moments, I ultimately enjoyed the movie. Well, its more like an extended music video, but with strong central characters. Allow me to explain.
Throughout the movie, there was too much focus on the boujee atmosphere rather than being an actual film. There were also multiple actors and actresses that were trying too hard to act and did poorly. Along with those things, it was hard to understand what the plot of the movie was, with characters being too distracted with atmosphere rather than allowing the film to progress. However, the two central characters, Youngblood Priest (Trevor Jackson) and Eddie (Jason Mitchell), were very compelling and interesting to watch. They had their own personalities, and the moments they shared showed excellent chemistry. Action sequences, though not prominent, were well-executed and the twists at the end allowed the movie to finish on a high note.
This kind of film targets a certain demographic: the hip-hop crowd. I'd say I fall under that crowd, even though I am by no means a rapper. Don't ever ask me to freestyle; I'm worse than the women's edit of This Is America. But if the premise of the film interest you, I'd say it is definitely worth your $2 at least two times. Overall, I would bestow this film a 6.5 out of 10. It isn't an inventive take on the action-drug-crime drama, but the performances from the two leads, the twists at the end, and the Lexus LC500 outpacing a Lamborghini Gallardo make it entertaining and worth a re-watch. Remakes! Remakes! Remakes! When will they never stop? Gordon Parks, Jr.'s "Super Fly" (1972) is Hollywood's latest casualty. Generally, remakes lack the magic of their predecessors. Exceptions exist to the rule. Canadian-born Director X's updated "Superfly" remake adheres to the core of the landmark original. For the record, Director X's real name is Julien Christian Lutz. Apart from 2015's "Across the Line," Lutz has helmed music videos primarily for the last twenty years, with vocalists such as Usher, R. Kelly, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj. Lutz imparts both polish and pacing to this profane, bullet-riddled, R-rated, 116-minute crime thriller. Like the original character, an affluent coke dealer decides to quit the business for safety's sake. Indeed, forty-six years later, some things have changed. "Superfly" takes place in contemporary Atlanta, Georgia, with jaunts around the Southeast, Texas, and Mexico. Comparatively, "Super Fly" (1972) confined itself strictly to New York City. Not only does "Watchmen" scenarist Alex Tse preserve a lot of the original "Super Fly," but he also provides greater narrative depth and more characters. "Sons 2 the Grave" actor Trevor Jackson is suitably cast with his handsome GQ looks as the new Youngblood Priest. Like his forerunner, Priest maintains a low profile so neither local nor national law enforcement knows about him! He has never been arrested, and his juvenile record is sealed. He strives to blend in rather than stick out. The same was true of Ron O'Neal, who portrayed an older Youngblood Priest in the surprise 1972 smash hit. Fashion has changed considerably since the original. Priest cruises around in an upscale Lexus 500 rather than a gaudy pimped-out El Dorado Cadillac. Our hero's chief competition is a vainglorious cocaine peddling gang of African-American villains decked out in immaculate white outfits. These guys look like they belong in the D.C. Comics super-villain universe. The worst thing I can say about "SuperFly" is it made me think of a supercharged "Miami Vice" episode.
Youngblood Priest has maintained a critical balancing act of living at the top without having to fear either the police or rival coke dealers. Everything changes radically in one split-second at a strip club when Priest clashes with an impulsive member of the Snow Patrol, Juju (Kaalan Walker of "Kings"), and the latter tries to murder him. Instead, the reckless Juju wounds an innocent female bystander. Priest thrusts a wad of bills into the wounded girl's hand and advises her friends to rush her immediately to the nearest trauma center. Meantime, Juju's boss, Q (Big Bank Black of "Birds of a Feather"), far from happy with his trigger-happy henchman, has gone and shelled out $50 grand to silence the wounded girl and her friends. Indeed, the clash, the shooting, and Juju's rabid vengeance, register powerfully on our protagonist. This incident prompts Priest to decide to retire. In the original "Super Fly," Priest simply felt the time was ripe to bow out, but the filmmakers never gave him as substantial a motivation as Director X and Alex Tse do with "Superfly." Priest commences to plan for his future, even if his long-time partner, Eddie (Jason Mitchell of "Contraband"), refuses to let a good thing go. Like Eddie in the original "Super Fly," this Eddie argues that 'the Man' won't let them do anything else. This seems ironic since "Superfly" was produced after the eight-year presidency of Barrack Obama. Immediately, Priest looks up his old friend and mentor, Scatter (Michael Kenneth Williams of "Brooklyn's Finest"), who has been supplying him with cocaine. Priest figures that if he can get more, he can sell more, and then have enough to retire. Surprisingly, Scatter refuses to accommodate Priest. Scatter here is a combination of Priest's mentor from the original as well as his martial arts instructor.
In the original "Super Fly," Scatter came through for Priest, but it cost Scatter his life. Corrupt NYPD officials ordered Scatter liquidated as a victim of a heroin overdose, and they chose to let Priest and Eddie assume his responsibilities. In "Superfly," Priest shrewdly shadows Scatter to find out where his mentor obtains his supply of cocaine. Meantime, Scatter doesn't suspect that Priest and Eddie are tailing him. Neither does Scatter's connection, Mexican cartel kingpin Adalberto Gonzalez (Esai Morales of "Paid in Full"), notice Priest. Audaciously, Priest and Eddie follow Gonzalez across the border into Mexico, and Priest meets with the notorious trafficker. At one point, after his goons do notice Priest, the cartel crime boss has them bring Priest aboard his private jet, and Gonzalez threatens to throw him out of it during the flight. The level-headed Priest persuades Gonzalez to provide him with enough product for his escape strategy. This represents the second time Priest has put himself in jeopardy, but he emerges none the worse for wear. Not until later does Priest brandish a gun to defend himself and his women. This younger Youngblood Priest displays considerable discretion to avoid wanton bloodshed compared with the volatile Juju. Things deteriorate dramatically when another black gangsta launches an attack on a barber shop that Q operates as a front. Virtually everybody but Juju dies during this devastating drive-by shooting. Eventually, Q discovers that one of Priest's associates orchestrated the shootout. Furthermore, a furious Scatter learns Priest has gone behind his back to contact Gonzalez. Worst, a clueless strip club owner, Fat Freddy (Jacob Ming-Trent of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"), is exposed as the man who dispatched the gunmen to kill Juju.
"Superfly" bristles with more of everything than its unforgettable predecessor. The Snow Patrol with their Scarface mansion make intimidating adversaries. Not only has Director X and scenarist Alex Tse carefully retained as much plot as possible from the original, but they have also added more. One of the strongest additions is the corrupt Atlanta policewoman, Detective Mason (Jennifer Morrison of "Star Trek: Into Darkness"), who exposes Priest. Ultimately, Director X tips his hat to Curtis Mayfield by including his classic tune in this stellar remake of "Super Fly." This high-gloss take on Gordon Parks Jr