7:30 PM, 2nd November, 2018
A standard tagline for sequels is “This time it’s personal”. Well, this film doesn’t skimp on the clichés. And this time, I regret to say, it actually is personal, which is one error in an otherwise enjoyable, solidly made, hard-to-object-to, of-course-you’ll-have-a-good-time action flick.
I trust we all liked the first Equalizer film, released four years ago, where hero Robert McCall’s function – vocation, really – was to equalise: he was an odds-evener in battles between the powerful and the (otherwise) helpless. Like Superman, he pursued justice for its own sake. But this time, as I mentioned, it’s personal. When McCall’s few loved ones are threatened by the baddies, I suppose it should mean we have more emotional investment, but I can’t help but feel what’s happened instead is that the character has lost a point of brand differentiation.
That he doesn’t lose it entirely is a credit to Denzel Washington, returning to the perfectly cast lead role for his first ever sequel; convincingly able to both break some thug’s arm and then offer a homespun, detailed and well-thought out explanation to the thug as to why it was necessary for his arm to be broken. It’s still the same character, and I’ll watch him however personal it is.
9:41 PM, 2nd November, 2018
SuperFly is a remake of the Blaxploitation crime drama film of the same name. The 1972 original helped define a whole genre through its characters, look, sound, and feel. This time around, the film is reimagined by Director X – director of legendary music videos from the likes of Drake and Rihanna – to introduce the story to a new generation.
Being a remake, the story isn’t anything new. In fact, ignoring the remake angle, the plot basically revolves around the rise of a crime syndicate and all that comes with being – and staying – on top. So the wheeling, dealing, money, and girls won’t come across as anything surprising.
But the highlight of SuperFly is definitely the soundtrack, including both new and previously released songs from some of the biggest names in the business. The original film was one of only a few films where the soundtrack grossed more than the film itself.
This version of SuperFly may not prove as groundbreaking, but is still a stylish and exciting action film that is worth a watch... as well as buying the soundtrack if you’re into that genre of music.