4 August 2006 | goatboy500
Good, but nothing like the novel
This is a pretty good, violent, gangster romp directed with definite panache by Bill Duke. Forrest Whitaker plays a decent upstanding Christian boy how gets embroiled in hokey plot involving stolen money (or something) and Robin Givens. Different groups of parties are all after the dough (including Forrest's good for nothing brother Gregory Hines), when Forrest just wants the girl. Its pretty hackneyed stuff, but the players (in particular the great Gregory Hines and the baddass Danny Glover) elevate it to a standard that just serves to entertain and no more.
It also features a great recurring joke about a picture of Jesus that I won't spoil.
The only problem I have with this film is that the book it's based on is actually nothing like this. The first scene in the barn is lifted from the book, but everything else has been changed. The two cops in the film, Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed are Chester Hime's greatest creations, but here they're just an obstacle for Whittaker (who in the book is actually a supporting character and is a coward, here he is the against all the odds hero of the piece). If you haven't read Chester Hime's novels you won't notice, but be prepared to be disappointed with the liberties taken with the story.
On it's own though, this is an accomplished movie from the talented Mr Duke, who's next movie was one of the best of the nineties, Deep Cover.