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This high-gloss take on Gordon Parks Jr’s funky vision of the hustle goes so far into sheer, unabashed rap-video excess that calling it gratuitous would miss the point. Until it suddenly, brutally isn’t.
Consequence of Sound
As was the case with the majority of blaxploitation films, the original Super Fly’s appeal wasn’t in its story so much as the ways in which it carved out an unapologetically black vision that served to capture a particular era in terms of its themes, music, and fashion. X has done that here, but he’s also crafted a crowd-pleasing summer blockbuster that will appeal to the modern filmgoer.
Sure, young star Trevor Jackson (“Grown-ish,” “American Crime”) can’t fill O’Neal’s effortlessly dapper, achingly world-weary shoes, and few movie soundtracks can rival Curtis Mayfield’s legendary album for the first “Super Fly.” But this is a remake worthy of its original.
Los Angeles Times
Superfly may be suffused with political fury, but it is also unapologetically awash in cheap, disreputable B-movie thrills.
It works because the characters keep things anchored to some kind of dramatic reality.
Shot in a functional, slammed-together manner that’s less sensually stylish than you’d expect from a music-video auteur, the film is a competent yet glossy and hermetic street-hustle drug thriller, less a new urban myth than a lavishly concocted episode. It holds your attention yet leaves you with nothing.
The New York Times
The roomier scenario of this remake has the potential to yield a decent thriller, but Superfly too often prioritizes showy sequences for dubious reasons.
San Francisco Chronicle
It lacks a moral center, and at times seems oblivious to the laughable things that are happening on screen. It’s also about 20 minutes too long. And yet SuperFly is entertaining, period. The dialogue is fast and fun, and the sense of fashion is so pervasive that it occasionally distracts from the movie.
The Hollywood Reporter
Beyond the obvious complaints about objectification of women, this second feature from the Canadian who calls himself Director X is just a bore.
New Orleans Times-Picayune
The new Superfly is, simply, a terrible movie. It is slick, and it boasts action, hot tunes and style to spare. But beyond the polish that a deep-pocketed studio backer can buy -- in this case, Sony's Columbia Pictures shingle -- this is a shamefully hollow movie that fails on multiple levels.
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