Superfly (2018)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Superfly</strong> (2018)

(On Cable TV, December 2018) I’m enough of a Scorsese fan to be at least sympathetic to the idea of a film featuring a criminal as a protagonist, but it always helps if there’s at least a nod toward decency and morality somewhere in the mix. Alas, that’s not so in this Superfly remake, which features a gangster going against worse gangsters … and getting away with it. Trying to find even a thematic point in this glitzy celebration of conspicuous consumption, hedonism, fast cars, cool guns and ménage-à-trois shower scene is tough—what we get is the lifestyle, the shoot’em-ups, the car chases, the double-crossing and the escape to a yacht. If you’re looking for the tradeoffs, well, at least one of the protagonist’s girlfriends gets killed and, um, that’s about it. (He seems perfectly happy with the remaining one.) At least Trevor Jackson is fine in the lead role—and who wouldn’t with Lex Scott Davis and Andrea Londo at his side? “Director X” (actually Julien Christian Lutz) distinguishes himself through a decent visual style, made all the way more remarkable in that the production of the film was ridiculously short—something like three or four months from start of production to the end of shooting, with theatrical release three months later. There’s some obvious visual symbolism in Superfly (the heroes drive, shoot and wear black; the villains drive, shoot and wear white) but again there’s not much underneath the surface, and not nearly enough of what would be needed to justify a gangster film glorifying the lifestyle.

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