Review: A New Superfly Gets By on Surface Pleasures—and Great Hair

If you need proof that 2018 movies feature much less sex, drug use and overall loose morals than pictures made nearly 50 years ago, have a look at both the gritty 1972 Super Fly and its spiffed-up, affably glam new version. The 1972 Super Fly, cheaply made, unapologetically disreputable and brazenly cathartic, is one big coke-snort-a-go-go; barely a scene goes by without someone taking a hit. In the Superfly of 2018, you never see anyone actually using, or even, apparently, under the influence: There’s not a jittery addict in sight, and selling the stuff appears to be a victimless crime, an activity that endangers only the people enmeshed in the business—it’s no worse than selling Herbalife. In 1972 you got an extended sexy, soapy bathtub lovemaking scene, complete with some rather elegantly filmed female nudity (Sheila Frazier is the actor, playing opposite the movie’s star, Ron O’Neal). The 2018 Superfly also features a sex scene, this time in a shower, and a threesome to boot. It’s enjoyable in all its ridiculous, discreetly orchestrated glory. Considering how few current mainstream movies even attempt sex scenes, let’s consider it progress.

The new Superfly—made by the Canadian-born music-video Director X, who, in a previous and presumably much less fabulous life, used to go by the name Julien Christian Lutz—is sometimes silly and sometimes not silly enough, and its rhythms tend to be a little stiff. But there’s something going on here, even if it’s just a chance to revel in surface style. And the movie finishes with a violent act of political defiance that feels righteous, not gratuitous: It’s the one scene that comes anywhere close to opening the same type of societal pressure valve its predecessor did. The new Superfly isn’t a great work of artistry or of cheap thrills—it’s so in between it’s practically bourgeois—but in the swagger department, it just squeaks by.

Trevor Jackson (of Eureka and Grown-ish) stars as Priest, a mega-successful Atlanta drug dealer who runs his business as if it were a benevolent Seattle startup of the ’90s, throwing appreciation parties for his many employees and expressing dismay when he learns that his right-hand man, Eddie (the superb Jason Mitchell) has, in an effort to keep peace, ordered a hit targeting a rival coke-dealing gang, the Snow Patrol. (Its members dress in spotless white tracksuits, accented by luxurious toppers of fur and leather; their clubhouse is a comically lavish

Source:: Time – Entertainment


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