Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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No consensus yet.
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All Critics (34)
| Top Critics (15)
| Fresh (22)
| Rotten (12)
Duke keeps this tangled tale of lust and larceny bouncing with a disreputable, funloving B-movie energy that's hard to resist.
With its snazzy Elmer Bernstein score, its snappy period flavor and its all-star cast doing something completely different, A Rage in Harlem should have been much more fun than it is.
Jazzy and jauntily funny.
As the movie becomes increasingly violent and unpleasant, the characters chase around after each other in a threadbare gangster plot about a trunk of gold.
[A] flamboyant, engaging action comedy.
Duke and company have been true to Himes' brash, blaspheming spirit, and that is no small thing.
It bleeds for a kind of Harlem justice, as its intense black characters act tough, nasty, sexy, twisty, heroic and lively.
A Rage in Harlem is the kind of film that, every ten minutes or so, requires violent bloodshed or a sexual rendezvous to prevent audiences from becoming glassy-eyed and slack-jawed.
Based on Chester Himes's novel, this is a stylish, fast-moving and often humorous thriller from Deep Cover director Bill Duke.
Underneath the fancy trappings, however, is a disappointingly ordinary caper movie that moves far too slowly for a picture of this type.
That extraordinary cast, directed by Bill Duke, has little to do other than idle between sporadic outbursts of sadistic violence.
It's largely a cheap looking, tawdry affair, with tortuous interludes in which the humour devolves on gratuitous unpleasantness or tired old bad jokes at the expense of women.
(Includes one minor spoiler, but it's unrelated to the plot and really more of a recommendation.)
Surprised to see so few votes and comments for A Rage in Harlem - it was a modest commercial hit in Britain, so perhaps the all-black casting and setting just didn't play Peoria.
The tone of this stylish, good-looking period crime adventure swings wildly between brutal, raunchy, tragic and comic, but a clever, funny script and likeable characters - especially Gregory Hines's big-hearted wiseguy Goldy, but also several delightfully written minor roles - maintain attention and sympathy throughout what could otherwise have been a bumpy ride. It's an emotionally engaging film, much more character-driven than the average urban thriller of the 1990s.
Its purely incidental pleasures are many, topped by a splendid musical treat in the shape of cult R 'n' B hero Screamin' Jay Hawkins, giving a no-holds-barred performance of his voodoo classic I Put a Spell on You at the Harlem Undertakers' Ball. If you have a taste for the old school of black show business, this sequence will have you holding up the rest of the picture until you've given Screamin' Jay an encore.
Thrills, laughs, and pathos, dished up with verve and heart, make a film that many of us still remember very affectionately.
Average comic thriller interesting only for it's unusual adaptation of the book upon it was based, as it concentrates on the crooks rather than the cops.
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