HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
12 Hour Shift
Filmmaker's House, The
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
   
 
  New Jack City War On Drugs
Year: 1991
Director: Mario Van Peebles
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Allen Payne, Chris Rock, Mario Van Peebles, Michael Michele, Bill Nunn, Michael Wong, Bill Cobbs, Christopher Williams, Judd Nelson, Vanessa Williams, Tracy Camilla Johns, Anthony DeSando, Nick Ashford, Thalmus Rasulala, Flavor Flav
Genre: Drama, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: The year is 1986 and a new crime lord is on the rise: he is Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes), and has big plans which include killing off his rivals by say, dropping them off a bridge. Meanwhile, Scotty Appleton (Ice-T) is an undercover cop with stronger ties to Brown than he realises, but today he is the victim of theft when the bag of cash he is carrying is stolen by Pookie (Chris Rock). Scotty chases after him as the small time criminal steals a bicycle, but a close encounter with a train sees him flung over the handlebars and having to continue his escape on foot, which proves difficult when Scotty shoots him in one heel. The backup arrives and as the passersby help themselves to the money strewn around, Scotty attempts to prevent the mounting chaos. But it's the widespread drug problem that really needs containing, and it doesn't look as if it's going away any time soon...

When New Jack City was released it was accused in some quarters of glamourising violence and crime by depicting the criminals in the context of a flashy thriller. Eyebrows were also raised when Ice-T was cast as a policeman considering he had never made it plain he was a fan of the police, but here I guess he didn't mind as he was a maverick cop who played by his own rules, and never wore his uniform anyway. The film, scripted by Thomas Lee Wright and Barry Michael Cooper from Wright's story, was a runaway success and by far the most exciting of the new wave of African American movies being released in the late eighties and early nineties, probably because although it was a work with a social conscience, it made sure to include action, thrills and suspense as well, reminiscent of the blaxploitation genre of the nineteen seventies.

What Nino has in mind is introducing crack to the streets of New York in a major way, and he goes about it with a keen business sense coupled with a ruthlessness that has any other potential opponents murdered - Snipes is undeniably dynamic in the role that secured his place as a star of the decade. Nino also takes over a housing block to turn into his own personal fortress and factory, where the crack rolls off the production line without any danger of being interrupted. Assigned to this case, Scotty knows that he must find a way to get to Nino and he decides some undercover plotting is just right; only he doesn't send himself in there, nope, he sends Pookie who has now broken his drug addiction and is willing to act as a worker in the crack factory while wearing a microphone and a belt with a hidden camera in it.

Unfortunately, the proximity of all that crack sends Pookie back into his drugs hell, and he is found out - that wasn't a very good plan, Scotty, was it? You could say that New Jack City was awash with clich├ęs, from the bomb that is defused with two seconds on the clock to the revelation that Nino killed Scotty's mother, but really it shows that the filmmakers are aware of the genre they're working in and know how to use it to their advantage. Eventually Scotty has to infiltrate Nino's empire personally, leading to shootouts and comeuppances, but the anti-drugs stance is clear; nobody would have gone to see the film if it had been a dry, patronising public information announcement so to dress it up with the gangster conventions (James Cagney and George Raft are mentioned, and of course Scarface is showing at Nino's apartment) is clever and effective. Not that it did much good in the long run, but you can't fault them for trying. Music by Vassal Benford and Michael Colombier.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5678 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: