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Detroit 9000
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Detroit 9000 More at IMDbPro »

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Aside from the dated phrases, clothes and music this could be the present.

Author: beachguy64 from NJ, USA
8 March 2000

As a huge fan of 70's action movies, I was looking forward to seeing this, especially since it has Quentin Tarantino's endorsement. I was expecting another campy blaxploitation movie, but was very surprised that this was not the case. The film explores the politics and race relations in Detroit in the early 70's, using the repercussions of an armed robbery of a political fundraiser as a backdrop.

Aside from the funky music and 70's fashion, and to a certain extent the dialogue, this could easily be any urban area in the 90's. The media is portrayed as eager to turn this high-profile crime into a racially-motivated crime. The cops are shown as being under pressure from all sides to solve the case quickly.

As the investigation unravels, the viewer finds out that not everyone is who they seem to be. And although the end of the film is somewhat predictable, it is still entertaining.

Some of the dialogue is typical camp, and some of the acting is wooden, but the one major complaint I have with this movie is the chase scenes that are shown in immediate succession. Its almost as if the writers thought to pad the drama with some action as an afterthought. Overall, though I was very suprised by this film and the issues it attempts to address.

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A remarkable thriller, full of action and groovy music!

Author: Jp Hudon from Montreal
29 May 1999

I saw this movie because of Quentin Tarantino's initiative to bring back classics like this to the video stores. This movie is just terrific. First of all the story is very well done and it is still original today. This is remarkable considering that this movie is 26 years old! The actors might be a little weak at times but the cool dialogs and the raw action scenes are the best ones I've ever seen. There aint no special effects here but it still is pretty spectacular. Of course, this movie is not an Hollywood super production but it still is an excellent movie that one should see at least once. The music is also fantastic, seeing those guys shoot each others and thoses cars explode with some 70's era funk music is just too entertaining.

I recommend this movie to any action or thriller movie fans. Tarantino fans might also be surprised..this movie obviously influenced Tarantino a lot. See for yourself.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Fond, fond memories of Detroit 9000

Author: khat-datty from Louisville, Ky
14 August 2001

I would leave college early everyday just to find what Detroit street they would be filming at that particular day. It was an exciting time seeing such local personalities as Dick Purtan, Woody Willis, Laura Lee, Mike Lucci of the Detroit Lions, John Nichols, and the one and only Martha Jean "The Queen" Steinberg. This was a great time for me and for the city of Detroit. I have a copy of this film and watch it whenever I can. A must see movie for all Detroiters. A favorite of Quinton Tarrentino.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

hip, well-acted and slam-bang action/police flick in the guise of blaxploitation

Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
10 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Arthur Marks somehow knew how to do it: combining the tough and thoughtful police-thriller with a seeming exploitation (or blaxploitation) flick into something worthwhile. It may not be for some; matter of fact, from all I can tell looking at various reviews it's made little of an impression aside from negative. But I was drawn into this seedy, multi-racial tale of dirty criminals and (some) dirty cops and a dirty politician because of the simple strengths of the acting and (most of) the writing, not to mention an explosive climax and a nifty opening heist scene. It's even more than nifty; Marks somehow has the cojones to make a poignant moment in this scene, as well as a couple of other times in the film (i.e. Ruby dying in Jessie's arms), where the singer who's doing a number gets cut-off by the tape recording telling everyone to get down and fork over the cash and jewels... and she just goes on singing, and a song sung with a mournful voice.

The nuts and the bolts of the plot are that in Detroit, where according to officer/athlete Jessie Williams (Hari Rhodes) his new partner Danny Bassett (Alex Rocco) is in the minority in the black-dominant area, a heist has taken place during a fund-raiser for an up-and-coming politician (perfectly one-note Rudy Challenger), and there's already tension: is it an all-black gang, or all-white? Can there be a crack when those the cops find immediately shoot back and end up shot dead? It all leads down to a pimp and his girl, or so it's thought, and not everything is what it seems with tough/smart cop Bassett, yada yada. Describing a lot of the plot isn't necessary, as much of the interest in Detroit 9000 are in scenes of pure attitude, of this time and place in this city a microcosm of racial strife and unrest. If anything it's not even a blaxploitation movie, per say, but something of a black pride movie in a strange way. And there's at the least some equality: the gang is found to be multi-racial, including a dead) Indian from Canada!

There are ways this movie can get cheesy or stuck in its 1973 time-frame, and of course the clothes, the slang, and the soundtrack all speak to that. But I enjoyed how Hampton's screenplay struck a line between giving many of these characters, including supporting ones like Ruby Harris and Ferby some personality past their stock characters, or how the wit creeps up as really unexpected (the line Clayton's "assistant" gives to a prostitute is so classic QT lifted it for Jackie Brown). And Rhodes and Rocco, otherwise usually relegated to supporting and character-actor parts in other movies, get to show what their made of as cops on a dirty case that just gets dirtier. Lastly, without sacrificing some sophistication in the writing or a refreshingly bittersweet ending, Marks tops it all off with that big chase going six or seven ways across the railroad tracks and fields and cemeteries of *really* gritty parts of Detroit and put to a raucous, spot-on soundtrack.

In a word (and I can almost hear a James Lipton voice saying this as I type this): under-rated.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A well-made crude-fest.

Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
21 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Detroit 9000" reminded me a lot of "Dirty Harry"--mostly because the star, Alex Rocco, has little time to be pleasant to his superiors--he's just a good and tough cop who wants to do his job. The other star, Hari Rhodes, isn't exactly a saint either! The big difference, however, is that "Detroit 9000" is a MUCH earthier film--with lots of cursing, racial epithets and stuff parents probably do NOT want their kids seeing. Of course, it wasn't like "Dirty Harry" was a family film, either!

The film begins at a big fund-raising affair where lots of black community members are in attendance. A group of robbers break up the party and take a fortune. But, interestingly enough, these guys were real pros and they haven't got anything to work on--even the races of the crooks. When the case is given to the Lieutenant (Rocco), he quickly sees that he's pretty much screwed--and is quick to tell his boss! That Rocco isn't a man known for his tact! Following this, he begins following down leads--leads that lead him to a brothel, a brief lesbian sex scene, a crooked black politician and even abortion doctor! As I said, this IS an earthy film!

So is the film worth seeing? Well, if you are looking for a blaxsploitation film, perhaps not. While it has some elements of blaxsploitation, it's really more of a cop story that happens to be in Detroit--and the good guys (relatively speaking) are cops. If you are looking for a family film or one to show your mother, DEFINITELY not. But, if you can get past all the nastiness (and there is a lot), the film is exciting, bloody and interesting--and the acting is pretty good from these second and third-tier actors. I also thought the movie was a bit of a surprise because I always thought Detroit was a lot less safe than it was in this movie!

By the way, one scene from the film seems like it was lifted from "Dirty Harry" (1971). When the cop shoots a suspect with a gun, he tells the bleeding guy "Go for it, you #^$&%@... Go on maybe I haven't got the guts to kill you...". And the way it was set up was so similar to Dirty Harry's confrontation with the bank robber.

Also, at the minute mark, watch the prostitute get in a cab and the cab is a DIFFERENT cab when she gets out (note the bumpers, among other differences).

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

extra crispy

Author: 249 from USA
17 August 2000

Not your typical Blaxploitation movie. I rented it because Vonetta McGee is in it but was pleasantly surprised. You should see the top tier Blaxploitaion movies (Fred,Pam,Jim,Isaac) first to appreciate this one. Definitely a sleeper.

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Hey Honky, move your jive a$$!

Author: carbuff
10 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Take my rating on this film with a very large grain of salt, since most people would probably find it mediocre at best if they aren't subject to 1970s nostalgia.

It plays like a decent trashy TV movie from the '70s (I know, because I was there), albeit with some swearing that would never have been allowed on the air. The plot is actually pretty good and reasonably convoluted and, I think, worthy of a skilled remake (except, please, for the absurdly drawn out shootout near the end), but the execution is really, really dated.

This movie is notable for having the worst "blood" special effects I have ever seen. When shot, the victims appear to have been hit by a paintball gun loaded with red fluorescent paint.

Also, I never personally ever heard any real person use the term "Honky" in the '70s, yet it is used constantly here, so that seemed a bit weird to me.

In summary, this movie is a long way from being great filmmaking, and I would only recommend it if you wanted to see an old OK blaxsploitation flick, since as far as that goes, you could do a lot worse.

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Top-Notch Blaxploitation

Author: gavin6942 from United States
13 March 2015

After a fundraiser for a black politician is robbed, Detroit police put two detectives, one white (Alex Rocco) and one black (Hari Rhodes), on the case, who try to work together under boiling political pressure.

Although Orville H. Hampton worked mostly in lower budget films, he actually had an Oscar nomination under his belt by the time he wrote this script. Hampton had written the now-forgotten "One Potato, Two Potato" (1964). Marks was responsible for bringing in Rocco, who he had worked with on "Bonnie's Kids". Although he plays a policeman here, Rocco had actually grown up among Boston's Winter Hill Gang.

Hari Rhodes is a perfect choice for the role here. In a film about racial politics, he is more knowledgeable than most. While any person of color has experienced racism at some point, Rhodes literally wrote the book on it: "A Chosen Few", which was published in 1965.

Scatman Crothers is a pleasant surprise, even if his role is not as large as it could be. And the idea of "Buzz the Fuzz" is awfully clever, perhaps something more big cities ought to think about. This film shows the racial politics between police and the black community, and this certainly has not changed in the forty years since this film debuted. If anything, it is something we are even more acutely aware of now.

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A Little Rough Around the Edges

Author: Uriah43 from Amarillo, Texas
15 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Lieutenant Danny Bassett" (Alex Rocco) has just been handed an extremely volatile case involving some burglars who have stolen approximately $4 million in cash and jewels from a fund-raiser being hosted of a black Detroit congressman. There is no way he can win because if the suspects turn out to be black the mostly black population will think it's a cover up. If the perpetrators are white then the white population will think it's a whitewash to appease the black community. And obviously if he fails to find the culprits the public will want his head on a silver platter. To make things even worse a black police sergeant named "Jesse Williams" (Hari Rhodes) is also assigned to the case who Lt. Bassett believes will get all of the credit for apprehending the suspects instead of him. Anyway, for a "blaxploitation" film this movie wasn't too bad. While the film was a little rough around the edges I liked the selection of Detroit for the movie which was a refreshing change from the usual locations (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago). I also liked the addition of Vonetta McGee as the prostitute "Roby Harris". Again, this wasn't a bad blaxploitation film and I rate it as about average.

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brothers and sisters do their stuff

Author: Lee Eisenberg ( from Portland, Oregon, USA
13 September 2013

Another entry into the blaxploitation genre, Arthur Marks's "Detroit 9000" has a black detective and a white detective cooperating to investigate the theft of some jewels from a congressman's fund raiser in the Motor City. For the most part the movie has a lot of the things that we expect to see in a blaxploitation flick, although they put an interesting twist on racial stereotypes: the black detective is the refined character while the white detective is the streetwise one. There was even a line or two that they obviously lifted from "Dirty Harry". Otherwise, it was just a fun movie with a funk soundtrack. Among the cast members are Hari Rhodes, Alex Rocco (Moe Greene in "The Godfather"), Vonetta McGee and Scatman Crothers (Dick Hallorann in "The Shining").

Detroit was long seen as the backbone of the US economy and now it's bankrupt. Geez.

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