Whether it is films like “Scarface” or “Blow,” drug dealers on screen tend to be characters that people cheer for. I don’t tend to be one of those types of people given the career path that I have been on, where I have seen crack babies in hospitals from the time I spent as a probation officer and the effects that the drug trade has on the general population. In the remake of “Superfly,” Director X. (How She Moves), brings a similar character back to life.
Trevor Jackson (Grown-ish) plays the title character (referred to as “Youngblood Priest” in both versions), a hustler and mid-level drug dealer in Atlanta. His is very successful and has built a reputation as a guy who has always been able to live below the police radar, but when a riff opens between his crew and a gang known as “Snow Patrol,” Priest decides to try for one big score that will get him out of the game for good.
This film has some great shots in and around Atlanta, especially at night. However, this reminds me of one of my issues with “Show Dogs” in the fact that this was like the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce seemed like they signed a check to overdo the amount of the city shown. Jackson does well in the lead role as a calm, cool player in a very stressful world that always tries to be twelve steps ahead in his business. Along with acting greats like Michael Kenneth Williams as his supplier (The Wire) and Esai Morales as one of the cartel kingpins that keeps the drugs coming, the cast is fine here.
“Superfly” is almost two hours long, which was a bit longer than it should have been, but that did not bother me as much as some of its subtle political shots that it takes. This seemed to be too much for me, but it does cater to its target audience. It definitely earns its “R” rating for violence, language, adult situations, and nudity, but that is to be expected here. This was just OK for me, so I will only recommend this as a viewing at the dollar theater (in second run).