Rated R, 103 minutes
"Superfly" is smooth, stylish and entertaining in a shallow way. It's a remake of the 1972 blaxpoitation cult-classic of the same and it works modestly well, featuring a break out turn from TV actor Trevor Jackson and strong individual scenes. The sum of those parts don't add up to a film of depth, but overall it's a solid update of the 1970's classic.
Youngblood Priest (Jackson of TV's "Eureka"), an Atlanta drug dealer, sees an opportunity to get out of the game before getting killed. However in order to do so, he must complete "one last job" while escaping a rival gang, betrayed supplier, corrupt police and the Mexican drug cartel.
The electric new crime drama "Superfly" is directed by music video director known as Director X (real name Julien Lutz) and is written by "Watchmen's" Jason Tse. Director X's music video touches can be felt here in the execution of many scenes, given the busyness and posing that many of the actors do. However, Jackson, in a star-making role, carries some swagger and electricity, and you won't be able to look away from his stylish, street-smart cocaine dealer who wants out.
It's nothing new in terms of story, but Jackson keeps you engaged, and he's well-supported by "Straight Outta Compton's" Jason Mitchell as Youngblood's best friend and colleague and Michael Kenneth Williams as Youngblood's mentor. However, some other characters, such as Jennifer Morrison's corrupt cop, Omar Chaparro's drug kingpin, and Lex Scott Davis' love interest, all seem standard issue here.
Along the way, there's lots of blood, bullets and steamy sex (one three-way in a shower is especially memorable) that will surely please many audiences. "Superfly" is much like a music video: mildly entertaining yet empty and fleeting and except for Jackson and that stylish updo he wears well here, you may not remember much after it's over. With this, it's best to live in the moment and enjoy it before it disappears.