Story of a promising high school basketball star and his relationships with two brothers, one a drug dealer and the other a former basketball star fallen on hard times and now employed as a security guard.
Hardened, uncomprimising drug dealer Roemello Skuggs decides to quit his scumbag profession so he may start a new life with his girlfriend. However, he soon learns getting out is nowhere ... See full summary »
A former drug lord returns from prison determined to wipe out all his competition and distribute the profits of his operations to New York's poor and lower classes in this stylish and ultra violent modern twist on Robin Hood.
The gangster Nino has a gang who call themselves Cash Money Brothers. They get into the crack business and not before long they make a million dollars every week. A cop, Scotty, is after them. He tries to get into the gang by letting an ex-drug addict infiltrate the gang, but the attempt fails miserably. The only thing that remains is that Scotty himself becomes a drug pusher. Written by
In the beginning of the film where the credits were being rolled along with the New York Skyline, The World Financial Center did exist in the year 1986, but much of the commercial complex was under construction as well as Battery Park City. Two World Financial Center (the building with the round dome rooftop) was under construction at that year and didn't finish completion until 1987; one year after the time setting. See more »
Drugs ain't a black thing, or a white thing. It's a death thing. Death don't give a shit about color.
See more »
Fast paced ghetto gangsta fantasy with an important message
Van Peebles directs a great cast in this detached-from-reality film about a truly evil drug-lord with a head for business and murder (Snipes), and a tough, street-wise pair of cops (Ice-T and Judd Nelson) hell-bent on bringing him down. The message is an important one - slogans are not going to win the war on drugs, and the way the message is carried in the film is more subtle than you might expect. The end of the film makes the point very clear, and I won't discuss it because I do not write spoilers. Like many of the more intelligent films made in the early 1990s, New Jack City is also an indictment of the euphoria of the Reagan years - telling the true story of what that time was like for those living from paycheck to paycheck, or trying to live without one, and dealing with the invisible "war on drugs" which had little to no effect on anybody in our inner-city neighborhoods.
Snipes, Ice-T, Allen Payne and Chris Rock give stand-out performances, and the rest of the cast provide excellent support. The film also stars New York City, and definitely has an NYC flavor (seasoned with more than a pinch of Hollywood). The cinematography is a little breathless - not unusual for the genre but in this case a bit extreme. The script is good, but perhaps too dense with rich plot details. And the editing provides a few pacing problems toward the middle of the film which, combined with the over-abundance of subplots, detract from the development of the main themes. The soundtrack is excellent - including a nice mix of hip-hop, rap, contemporary soul, and dance music - all blended nicely with the imagery of the film. Van Peebles style is well developed in this film, but I felt that some aspects of the plot were a little too outrageous for the seriousness of the film's message, and I fear that the message may have been lost on many of the film's viewers.
Overall, this is a good film. Entertaining and thoughtful, but definitely not for everybody.
20 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?