Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs was the box office draw, but the focus of Youngblood is actually the title character, played with reasonable conviction by What's Happening! semi-regular Bryan O'Dell. He's a not so street smart kid who wants to run with the Kingsmen, a local gang headed by Hilton-Jacobs, a returned Vietnam vet. The Kingsmen spend a lot of time drinking, beating up rival gang members, and abusing each other, but that doesn't mean they don't have a social conscience: when they lose a member to smack, the hunt is on for the dope pushers peddling junk in the 'hood. The story is familiar but is helped along by a uniformly good cast. War's score is excellent, especially the title track and Galaxy, featured in a disco scene heavily reminiscent of Soooooouuullllll Train. Watch for Ron Neal (Superfly) in a brief cameo as a high school gym teacher.
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