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A group of mostly black infantrymen return from the Spanish-American War with a cache of gold. They travel to the West where their leader searches for the men who lynched his father. Written by
It's 1898 Cuba. Buffalo Soldiers from the U.S. Army's 10th Cavalry Regiment led by Jessie Lee (Mario Van Peebles) are fighting in the Spanish American War. Sadistic Colonel Graham (Billy Zane) refuses to allow his men to retreat and forces Little J (Stephen Baldwin) to take command of the 10th. Graham sends them on a mission to rob Spanish gold but intends to kill them all afterward. Jessie, Obobo (Tiny Lister), Angel (Tone Loc) and Little J escape. With the help of Graham's long suffering aide Weezie (Charles Lane), they travel back to New Orleans with the dead bodies. Little J plays poker with Father Time (Big Daddy Kane) but rescues Father Time when he's caught cheating. Graham and his men find them and Angel is killed. The rest go on the run as wanted men.
It's a big loud mess. At times, it's a cool wild brash concoction. However the movie just wore me out. Director Mario Van Peebles is trying to squeeze so much into it that the movie crumbles under its weight. I do appreciate the push for black people into the western genre. That's not where this movie fails. Also everybody seems to be mugging for the camera with the exception of Peebles. The over-the-top style can be annoying if done incorrectly. Directors like Tarantino can back it up with better work and better dialog. The flashbacks feel like experimental film school style. The movie is too much of a mess.
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