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.
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
The first words heard in the film, when the studio logo appears on the screen, "You are about to witness the strength of street knowledge," is the opening line of the NWA song "Straight Outta Compton." See more »
When Nino stabs Kareem, the dagger is in Kareem's hand in one shot, but next to his hand in another. 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 »
German VHS & first DVD releases were edited for violence in two scenes (Nino kills a cop by cutting his throat/Scotty beats Nino at the end of the film), probably to secure a "Not under 16" rating. On TV the film was broadcast uncut. On the 2006 Special Edition DVD the film was released uncut. See more »
I'm Still Waiting
Written by H. Randall Davis
Produced by Randy Ran
Performed by Johnny Gill
Courtesy of Motown Record Company L.P. See more »
A black version of The Untouchables
STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs
New Jack City is The Untouchables for the black community right down to the last tee.Wesley Snipes is playing Robert De Niro's part as Al Capone,while Mario Van Peebles is the Elliot Ness of the story,making for a black man's Kevin Costner (what a concept).As the director of the film as well,Peebles has also updated it to the more modern time of 1986.And the film he has crafted is an impressive tale of the futility of anti-drug initiatives in the US,gang violence,dealer rivalry and hypocrisy.
Peebles' direction is stylish,if a little uneven,and the film has a cool visual style to it,with catchy camera angles and a few enjoyable viserical shots,kind of ahead of it's time in the pre-Matrix days of 1991.This is matched by a cool,absorbing hip-hop/R'nB soundtrack that plays through a lot of the scenes in the film,adding a believable feel to the black crime scene that is being portrayed.There is,of course,a heavy amount of violence and bad language in the film,so any extreme prudes should probably steer clear,but this is ultimately necessary to convey the reality at the heart of the story,and not in any way immensely gratuitous.
On the performances front,Snipes is ideally cast as the cool-as-ice gangster crimelord,practically playing him in his sleep,while fine support comes from Peebles,Ice-T and Judd Nelson as the men in charge of bringing him down.A good few years before he started over-working his flamboyant funnyman act,another surprisingly great,and non-funny performance comes from Chris Rock as a young junkie desperate to kick the habit and help the cops stop Snipes and his drug dealing operations.
It's similarity to and feel of being a remake of The Untouchables for black people ultimately does underwhelm it somewhat,but it is still nevertheless a fairly brilliant film that is distinctly aimed at the problem it is targeting and is very distinctly 1991.****
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