One of the best American gangster films... and all black. Yep, its an all black film, only one white actor in the form of Judd Nelson, and funnily enough, he' s supposed to be Italian.
Anyways, back in the day, this was DA MOVIE of the times... the thriller of the year. Now the veteran of many B-grade movies, this is Mario Van Pebbles crown jewel, and of course starring Wesley Snipes and Ice T, both going on to bigger and better things.
Welcome to New Jack City, aka New York, its the late 80's and the Casg Money Brothers , led by the infamous Nino Brown, are out to get their American Dream, one crystal crack piece at a time. Devising an brutal plan, they take over a neighbourhood and terrorise the public into the business... bcoming the largest drug producers in New York. But this doesnt go unnoticed by the police, and in order to fight the losing war against the CMB, the police turn to two of their most notorious, but best undercover cops on the street, the only pair capable of walking the thin line between the law and crime to get the job done.
Powerful, pretty graphic and steeped in drugs and depravity, its pretty realistic... dont expect high and fancy computer graphics and such, this filmed old skool, or B-grade as people might say, but certainly one of the best B-grade movies released into the mainstream. Crystal clear and good cinematography, som really good camera work around NY, the music is of course 1980's Hip Hop and rap, so if you into the black cultue, this is a great movie to watch, it reeks of blackism.
The performances is what made this movie a cut above the rest. Not shabby as people might expect from a low budget movie, but very down and dirty and realistic - helps if you got bad asses like Wesley and Ice T leading the charge. Its a gripping drama, a plot filled with family values and morality admist all the immorality and evil of society, an interesting balance - not to uptight, but just eh right touch of seediness and bottom level depravity without making the film a class A sleazy piece of trash, rather making it very realistic drama.
I made some interesting comparisons between New Jack City to many TV crime thrillers like The Shield, NYPD Blue or others, and you do get the distinct feeling you watching a TV show.... but if you dig these kind of movies, you lose track of time and watch it right through to the very unexpected ending.... where at one point this is the end of the movie, BANG, and a more interesting and, dare I say it, a more justified conclusion.
This is a pretty cool movie... dont be fooled by the music, which kinda falsley makes you think its more of a drama on the lines of Boyz N Da Hood, its much more different, its Cops vs Bad Guys, and who knows who will win this one.