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SUPERFLY

SYNOPSIS:
With retirement on his mind, a successful young drug dealer sets up one last big job, while dealing with trigger-happy colleagues and the police.

Review by Louise Keller:
Defined by its striking black and white wardrobe, the surreal world of ultra-cool cocaine dealers is firmly established in this remake of the 1972 Blaxploitation crime thriller. It's the mood that sucks you in: statement hairstyles, attention-grabbing clothes, plenty of bling, cheesy dialogue punctuated by expletives, dim lighting, enticing soundtrack and oodles of attitude. With aptly named music video auteur Director X at the helm, the plot is by the numbers with the protagonist embarking on 'one last job' before he leaves the sordid world of drug dealing ('It's not easy being a dope dude'.)

Everyone is a bad guy, but there are varying degrees of badness. The bad-bad guys wear white (some of the outfits are outrageous), while the good-bad guys wear black. I question the fact that the corrupt cops also wear black, but my esteemed movie companion pointed out that Stormtroopers aside, it was not often that baddies are portrayed wearing white. Citing the fact that the cops being white could well be an appeal for racial equality and that evil exists regardless of colour. But perhaps we are delving too far into the psychology of the issue. After all, this is entertainment.

Every bit the leading man, charismatic Trevor Jackson is so cool, he looks as though he has been sculpted that way, his perfectly coiffed flat top hair with undercut slice-part complementing his manicured beard. The neck tattoo and earring add a decorative touch. I like the Sergeant Pepper inspired coat he wears at one point. His hair never moves - even when he is doing his karate kicks. His two live-in girlfriends dress well - and skimpily. His stunning squeeze Lex Scott Davis has a shock of afro curls to die for, while his 'spare' (Andrea Londo) boasts long, silky locks. But the menage a trois in the shower is a disappointment. What aspires to be a steamy passionate scene is in fact simply a scene with steam. No passion. It feels token and rather silly.

The violence is graphic and punctuated by slo-mo sequences, which accentuate the stylized nature of the action. There is plenty of it, including fabulous car chases with a sleek Lexus LC and Lamborghini Aventador. Raining money seductively features in several scenes. Draped in mink, hats and bling, the drug dealers are colourful; the dialogue often incomprehensible and repetitive with language. Watch out for the scenes involving the king-pin drug dealer's mother. She is totally devoid of sentimentality.

On its own terms, Superfly 2018 delivers - a larger than life B-movie that never takes itself too seriously and sets out to entertain.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

SUPERFLY (MA15+)
(US, 2018)

CAST: Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Michael Kenneth Williams, Lex Scott Davis, Jennifer Morrison, Jacob Ming-Trent, Andrea Londo, Omar Chaparro, Terayle Hill, Allen Maldonado, Al-Jaleel Knox, Rick Ross, Big Boi, Lecrae

PRODUCER: Joel Silver, Future, Palak Patel

DIRECTOR: Director X

SCRIPT: Alex Tse

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Amir Mokri

EDITOR: A-Caroli Biesebach

MUSIC: JoshAtchley, Future

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Graham 'Grace' Walker

RUNNING TIME: 116 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony Pictures Releasing

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 9, 2018







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