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Stars: Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Jacob Ming-Trent, Lex Scott Davis, Andrea Londo, Michael Kenneth Williams, Esai Morales, Kaalan Walker, Big Boi, Jennifer Morrison, Brian F. Durkin

Director: Director X

When moviemakers run out of inspiration (and not just in Hollywood, of course) they frequently tend to solve their lack of creativity by taking refuge in remakes.

In 1972, Gordon Parks Jr's Super Fly starring Ron O'Neal as a conscience-free cocaine dealer on the make became a landmark classic Hollywood's Blaxploitation movie movement.

So here it comes again with added sex, violence and an avalanche of four-letter words kicking off right from the start with a song splattered with several trendy 'M-words' (more usually used to describe the liaison between Oedipus and his mother).

Here, with the location switched from New York to trendy Atlanta, Philip Fenty's expletive-saturated screenplay follows African-American cocaine dealer Youngblood Priest - competently enough played by Trevor Johnson - whose extraordinary hairdo occasionally tends to upstage his acting.

After surviving a brutal attack by a crazy rival, Priest realises that it’s time to quit crime and, telling his partner Lee 'This is a chance, and I want to take it now, before I have to kill somebody. Before somebody ices me.' They travel to Mexico to set up one last deal. Only for Priest to find himself fighting for his life against the local cartel, corrupt cops and scads of double-crosses that threaten his bit for freedom.

Fenty's screenplay adds sex (Johnson showers with two women), all the violence the censor will allow and effective enough action sequences to fill the running time with the director - sensibly credited as 'Director X' - delivering an already stale stew of vivid violence and filthy language in the hope hitting the box-office target with this gaudy remake.

Unfortunately, the film comes across far more as bull than bullseye.

(And for the record, should Canadian 'Director X' sensibly decide to abandon his nom-de-film and make more movies, his real name is Julien Christian Lutz).

Alan Frank

USA 2018. UK Distributor: Sony. Colour.
118 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 3, Swearing 3.

Review date: 30 Sep 2018