Remakes and reboots of classic movies are somewhat commonplace in Hollywood today. Like some other classic movies, the 1970’s blaxploitation flick “Super Fly” has been remade. The initial movie follows the struggles of fictional character Priest Youngblood, played by Ron O’Neal. The character is an erstwhile gangster and drug dealer looking to get out of the drug trade, and make a new life on the straight and narrow.
The remake is titled “Superfly”, a little different from the original given that the original is stylized as “Super Fly”.
The original movie has served to influence much of hip hop today. This is partly because of its killer soundtrack “Pusherman” by Curtis Mayfield. It is not amiss to say that “Super Fly” paved the way for the blaxploitation genre.
However, the remake will not be getting any such accolades. Directed by erstwhile music video director, Director X, the new “Superfly” falls horribly flat and is a huge gimmick in comparison to the original “Super Fly”.
The remake largely retains the plot line of the original, with Trevor Jackson playing main character, Priest Youngblood. Youngblood is trying to get out of the drug game and live a safe life with his two girlfriends. This reboot is set in Atlanta, a different location from the original which was set in New York.
We are going to be reviewing 5 reasons why this remake, which at some point held so much promise, should never have been made. Here we go
- Trevor Jackson: 21 year old Trevor Jackson plays the new age Priest Youngblood, and while he looked absolutely gorgeous aesthetically, that was the only thing he had going for him. Jackson is in no way a bad actor, but he did fail to bring the character to life. In every scene it almost felt like the character was overshadowed by his fantastic hair and neat threads.
- ATL Underutilized: The new “Superfly” was set in the city of Atlanta. We would have loved to see more of the city. The scenes used did not necessarily convey any resonating background or in depth character relationship with the city or its environs. Simply put, Atlanta wasn’t truly woven into the fabric of the movie.
- Violence and Nudity is Oversold: From the get go, it is known that “Superfly” is an explicit flick, but at some point, all of the nudity and gunfights become oversold. All of the excess violence makes the movie a predictable sequence of reels. Simply put, it turns the flick into an almost extended Director X music video.
- Director X: Known for his colorful and exciting music videos, Director X, real name Julian Christian Lutz, comes up short in his representation of the classic “Super fly”. He fails to continually capture the mind of the watching audience. While “Superfly” is not a horrible first time effort, Lutz is not going to be winning any awards for this movie either.
- Lack of Character Development: If “Super Fly” was a stand alone movie, then it wouldn’t even be worth a review. The lack of character development is so evident in the movie’s propensity to turn every shot into an action or steamy scene. Characters are not given room to explore and show a more open side to the audience. As hinted before, this turns the movie a two hour predictability fest.
More could and should have been made of this reboot. It falls really short of prior expectations and is an insult on the legacy of the original film.
Why did it turn out so bad? Maybe it was rushed, or maybe there wasn’t the required chemistry between the director and cast. Nobody will truly know, but one thing is for certain, the remake “Superfly” should never have happened.