In Theatres: 
Jun 13, 2018
Running Time: 
103 minutes

Everything seems to be filming in Atlanta these days but it’s still not that often you see a film that’s set in the city as well. Superfly, a remake of the 1972 blaxploitation film Super Fly, is ditching Harlem for the streets of Atlanta. At the helm is Director X, who brings his flashy style from the music video industry over to the big screen to deliver a film full of over-the-top fun that still remains true to the original.


Drug dealer Youngblood Priest (Trevor Jackson) has lived a successful criminal career by keeping things small and not having beef with other dealers in the neighborhood, thereby staying under the radar of police. Despite his talent, he confides in his best friend and partner Eddie (Jason Mitchell) that it’s time to get out of the game before he either lands up in jail or in a bodybag. Using his supplier Scatter’s (Michael K. Williams) source, he’s able to get his hands on enough product that will let him retire comfortably. But as his aspirations become high so does his profile, and Priest soon finds himself entrenched deeper than he’s ever been before.


Superfly is a stylistic action thriller that knows exactly how ridiculous and over the top it can be at times. It’s a film where kung-fu fights and high speed car chases feel perfectly fine next to strip clubs and drive-bys. From the clothes to the environments to even the guns themselves, everything pops out of the screen in Director X’s vision of Superfly. Rival gang Snow Patrol, for instance, dress in all white, drive white cars, and carry white guns. In a realistic setting this would be absolutely ridiculous, but Superfly makes it work.


As flashy as the film is, its story and themes don’t run that deep unfortunately. It hits a couple of points about gang violence, corruption, and police brutality, but they’re more like stepping stones for the action scenes that move the story along rather than say anything worthwhile. It has the beginnings of social commentary but never quite follows through on the delivery.


That being said, Superfly is still plenty of fun. As an Atlanta native, it was a blast seeing my city being portrayed as itself and not a stand-in for somewhere else. It brought an extra level of excitement to see locations like Opera Nightclub, The Varsity, or Grady appear on screen or be mentioned. At its core, Superfly does a good job at entertaining audiences with bright visuals and solid action.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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