Superfly (15)



Thriller (2018)
116mins US

Starring: Lex Scott Davis, Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell
Director: Director X., Director X
Writer(s): Alex Tse
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Youngblood Priest has been working the streets of Atlanta since he was 11 years old and he deals cocaine beneath the radars of police and politicians with guidance from cautious mentor Scatter. After he dodges a bullet fired by rival gang member Juju, Youngblood resolves to orchestrate one final deal with best friend Eddie. He betrays Scatter and takes delivery of triple the usual consignment of drugs from Mexican cartel leader Adalberto Gonzalez.

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LondonNet Film Review
Superfly (15)

It's not easy being a dope dealer without living like one. So says the lead character of Director X's soulless update of the 1972 blaxploitation caper Super Fly, which starred Ron O'Neal as an enterprising criminal with "a plan to stick it to The Man" and a ghetto fabulous wardrobe to complement the hip soundtrack masterminded by Curtis Mayfield. Canadian filmmaker Julien Christian Lutz, who trades under the moniker Director X, knows all about glamorising material wealth and objectifying women in lustrous slow motion with his achingly stylish music videos including Lucadris' Pimpin' All Over The World and Drake's Hotline Bling...

Superfly. Copyright: 2018 CTMG, Inc. Caption: Jason Mitchell as Eddie and Trevor Jackson as Youngblood Priest in Superfly, directed by Director X. Photo: Quantrell D. Corlbert. All Rights Reserved.Every frame of Superfly looks expensive but while the price tags on characters' threads might be ridiculously high, the quality of Alex Tse's script is cheap and cheerless. The modern version adheres closely to the plot of the original albeit with a few timely updates and stylistic tweaks plus a gratuitous softcore threesome in a shower, which moans and whimpers through every conceivable permutation of on-screen ardour before an impressively gymnastic final pose. Leading man Trevor Jackson has the fast car and voluminous hair to match Ron O'Neal's earlier incarnation, swagger for self-conscious swagger, but his chancer's lack of emotion under pressure gives us no compelling reason to root for the enterprising bad boy.

Youngblood Priest (Jackson) has been working the streets of Atlanta since he was 11 years old and he deals cocaine beneath the radars of police and politicians with guidance from cautious mentor Scatter (Michael Kenneth Williams). Flanked by right-hand man Eddie (Jason Mitchell), Youngblood exploits his network of informants - including girlfriends Georgia (Lex Scott Davis) and Synthia (Andrea Londo) - to gathering intelligence on rivals and men in power including Mayor Atkins (Big Boi). "Everybody wants to be superfly, everybody wants to be us!" Youngblood reminds Eddie after he dodges a bullet fired by Juju (Kaalan "KR" Walker), an ambitious lieutenant of rival gang leader Q (Big Bank Black). Youngblood resolves to orchestrate one final deal. He betrays Scatter and takes delivery of triple the usual consignment of drugs from Mexican cartel leader Adalberto Gonzalez (Esai Morales).

Superfly struts awkwardly in the shadow of superior crime thrillers such as New Jack City, which prowled these streets of strained brotherly love with narrative clarity and richly drawn characters. There are no such delights here, just a ponderous voiceover from Youngblood, which marks his street hustler as a preacher of meaningless mantras. "All the power in the world can't stop a bullet and no car can outrun fate," he pontificates. Co-stars are largely squandered and were it not for the introduction of Jennifer Morrison as a scheming cop with a penchant for blackmail, female representation in 2018 Atlanta would be too close to 1972 Harlem for comfort.

- Jo Planter

Superfly. Copyright: 2018 CTMG, Inc. Caption: Jason Mitchell as Eddie and Trevor Jackson as Youngblood Priest in Superfly, directed by Director X. Photo: Quantrell D. Corlbert. All Rights Reserved.


London Cinemas

From Friday 21st September
To Thursday 27th September

- Cineworld Enfield
From Friday 28th September
To Thursday 4th October

Not showing at any
London cinemas this week.


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Rest of UK and Irish Cinemas

Listed in alphabetical order by city/place name followed by cinema name.

From Friday 21st September
To Thursday 27th September

- Hemel Hempstead, Cineworld Hemel Hempstead
- Roscommon, C & L Plex
From Friday 28th September
To Thursday 4th October

Not showing at any
UK cinemas this week.


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