From start to finish, it's a story of friendship between 4 street-wise males who don't mind using violence to achieve the lives that they want. They trust no one but each other which is vital to their success as mobsters.
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The film focuses on the war of two gangs in 1930s Harlem for the control of illegal gaming - one headed by black strategic godfather Bumpy Johnson and another by white ruthless hothead Dutch Schultz. Negotiations proposed by white syndicate boss Lucky Luciano never get under way, blood flows and Johnson gets jailed. When Johnson is paroled, he gets the work of enforcer for mighty Stephanie "The Queen" St. Clair. She is also jailed for racketeering and when she leaves she makes him promise "no violence". Written by
Might feel unrealistic but is big on entertainment
Hoodlum is the story black a black underclass gangster who stands toe-to-toe with the Italian and Jewish Mafia in Harlem during 1930's in the great depression era. I checked out the story from watching the movie on Sunday and what I can say that yes there were several factual occurrences that took place during that time, however Hoodlum ends up turning its-self into some sort action flick rather than a factual account of what really happened, having said that it is still a very entertaining movie to watch and has some good performances as well as well made action scenes. Laurence Fishburne was excellent as the charming, and wise Bumpy Johnson who shows us an educated black man not afraid to stand up for what he believes in, Tim Roth was excellent as the unstable Ducth Schultz although I found my-self comparing him to Joe Pesci at times , and Andy Garcia as Lucy Lucoina was good with his screen time however I felt the stand out performance was Cicley Tyson who portrayed a very strong, elegant , proud Black woman. The movie rolled on fast and got into the swing straight away , there was good use of make-up , wardrobe and scenery which gave us a feel of 1930's Harlem. The interaction between characters is good as it gives us a real feel of what life was like back then. However the problems with Hoodlum are that the script seems a little superficial and characters which can have real depth to them normal end up being well quite flat. The film was supposed to be about real life events but it just seems to way to far fetched to the point where it does feel like a no brain action movie and the action it-self seems to be tit-for-tat repetitive although Fishburane's performance keeps you guessing how will he strike back and thusly the second half of the movie just feels messy and rushed. To conclude Hoodlum is probably not one of the best gangster movies about the black era to come I mean it is over shadowed by the likes of American Gangster but it does however manage to entertain on a big scale and is not a waste of time , its just a shame with a few clear faults in it however I would recommend as a rental and worth a check out for fans of the gangster genre.
HOODLUM : 8.1 OUT OF 10
POWER IS MEASURED IN ENEMIES...
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