Superfly is an action crime film directed by Director X and written by Alex Tse. It is a remake of the 1972 blaxploitation film Super Fly (review here) and it stars Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Michael K. Williams, Lex Scott Davis, and Jennifer Morrison.
The Story/The Direction:
This film is true to the idea of a remake as the plot is very similar to the original. In this film, Jackson takes over for Ron O’Neal as Youngblood Priest, a drug lord who wants to leave the game after an innocent woman is killed in front of his eyes. He realizes that if he stays in the game, it's that or prison. To break away, he and his right-hand man, Eddie (Mitchell) try to plan one big sale of cocaine to get enough to leave. He starts to beef with a local gang called Snow Patrol and issues like police brutality and Black Lives Matter are threaded into the story. Director X is clearly trying to make the original but intertwined with more current issues. He also shows his background in music videos as a lot of the cinematography is very similar and there are a few musical cameos such as Outkast's Big Boi as the mayor of Atlanta. There were also a few action scenes that were very engaging.
Jackson did a very good job as Priest and he is charismatic as ever. He has that swagger and the outfits that place him precisely into this role. After roles in Straight Outta Compton, Detroit, and Mudbound, Mitchell does a fine job here as Priest's partner and the movie’s comic relief. The rest of the cast is fairly decent but there is a lot of overacting.
In addition to the overacting, the antagonist's motivation for going against Priest is unexplained. However, the biggest flaw is the film's attempt to capture the original's message. Its comment on society that the original film has is put to the side and the glorification of the drug game is shown more. It attempts to add in more relevant issues but with how over the top the film is as a whole, these messages lose their power. Furthermore, while trying to be progressive with its message, the film's treatment of women is blatantly sexist as they are only used as objects and not given much to do.
This film's attempt to be true to the original but with an updated scenery is definitely heartfelt. They pull in the original's theme songs and pay homage in a very honorable way. However, the way the plot puts the message to the side kills what could have been a relatively successful remake. While not a time-waster, it is definitely not worth checking out unless one had already planned to do so and definitely see it at a discount.
Rating: 2.0/5.0 bowties
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