The reviews are in and while the majority of critics were blown away by Superfly, a few didn’t think the remake came close to Gordon Parks Jr.’s 1972 Blaxploitation classic.
Like the original, the remake centers on flamboyant cocaine dealer Youngblood Priest, who wants to pull off one last job before leaving the drug business behind. Unfortunately, the more he tries to get out of the game, the more he gets pulled back in. And the game is DANGEROUS.
Grown-ish actor Trevor Jackson takes on the lead role played by Ron O’Neal in the original film. Jason Mitchell, Michael Kenneth Williams and Lex Scott Davis co-star in the thriller from music video veteran Director X.
While the original took place in Harlem, the remake is set in Atlanta and features a slate of original songs from ATL rapper-producer, Future, who curated the soundtrack.
As of Tuesday evening, Superfly had a 70 percent Tomatometer rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with 19 out of the 27 reviews deeming the film fresh.
“Superfly is a delightful surprise: funny, brutal, stylish, and thoughtful,” wrote Inkoo Kang of TheWrap. “It updates the blaxploitation genre with wit and resonance.”
Akron Beacon Journal critic George Thomas liked the Sony Pictures film too, and said it “plays exactly like what it is – a gangster film with a sometimes compelling story and myriad flaws.”
Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle called it a good bet for moviegoers. “In the end, it feels as if both Superfly and the audience got their money’s worth,” Hartlaub wrote.
But not everyone was a fan.
Tribune News Service reviewer Katie Walsh described the film as “corny and dated.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s John DeFore was equally unimpressed, calling it a “stale remake with nothing new to say.”
Superfly opens nationwide Wednesday.
It was originally slated to hit theaters on Friday, June 15. But Sony moved it up two days to give it a head start on Disney-Pixar’s Incredibles 2, which is expected to do huge business at the box office.