Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

New Jack City

New Jack City
Wesley Snipes

Rated: R for violence and language
Reviewed by: Frank and Chris  
Release date: March 8, 1991

Why are movie audiences fascinated with gangster movies? Perhaps it's the very simple good and evil which is played before our eyes, or it could be we enjoy the effective use of power with force or by influence as played by underworlds leaders.

Wesley Snipes stars as an unsophisticated upstart gang leader in New York who grabs power in the crack epidemic which began in 1986. He rises in wealth and power very quickly and like Scarface, a film he watches, he moves too quickly and doesn't make the right friends to protect his empire. His enemies include the Italian underworld the police, and despite his gift giving, the people in his neighborhood,

Successful underworld figures and political leaders retain power by solving problems for people and rewarding loyalty. When they reach too high, too fast, or do not retain loyalty to their base they become vulnerable and are destroyed. That is the story of New Jack City.

This film gives superficial mention that poverty causes crime and that black gangsters prey upon fellow blacks, in the case of Crack on black kids. It is basically an excuse to spread violence across the screen. At times it is an uneven presentation, jumping from one scene to another so quickly that the viewer knows something was edited out. All the controversy over his film when it opened in Westwood Village in Los Angeles was exaggerated like the opening of The Warriors a few years back. The imagination of those who did not see the film went far beyond the scenes in the film. If this is your kind of film you will probably enjoy it.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
New Jack City  C   C                     C 

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