Sandy Kenyon reviews 'Superfly'

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- "Superfly" isn't boring, but it fails to capture our attention as the original once did.

The new movie was inspired by a down and dirty epic with the same title, shot almost half a century ago on the streets of New York City, when the city was a much more violent place.

A lot has changed since the original 1972 "Super Fly" had a plan to stick it to "the man," but its premise remains basically the same: the idea is to get, "one last score so big that we will never have to look over our shoulder again," explains the drug dealer known as Priest.

He's looking to up his game in Atlanta so he can cash out, as he tells an associate, "We've been operating under the radar. All that's about to change."

Actor Trevor Jackson, who is just 21, is a smooth and suave Priest, who is being mentored by an older man. He has not one, but two lovers, and a best friend named Eddie.

Priest and Eddie must face down powerful enemies like the gang dressed in white, known as the Snow Patrol. It's "got cartel connections. And they're coming after anything we have and everyone we love," Priest tells Eddie as they speed down city streets.

Law enforcement is mysteriously absent, with the exception of some corrupt cops looking to get a piece of the action. But really, the plot is besides the point, and so is the intense violence.

"Superfly" is all about the hair, the fashion, the women, and the cars. All that, plus the music - which was so much a part of the original, thanks to a brilliant score by Curtis Mayfield.

The bad old days of our city back then have given way to the sleek Atlanta of today, but when it comes to the bigger picture, not much has really changed. Priest urges Eddie to "stick to the plan," to which Eddie replies, "What plan? We black men. There ain't nowhere safe!"

A man sitting next to me at "Superfly" advised me before the screening to expect members of the audience to be loud and talk back to the screen, but for the most part, they didn't. There were cheers when Priest punished a dirty cop, but the silence for most of the running time spoke volumes about this forgettable movie's failure to engage.

* More local news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.