In its attempts to have more style than substance, Director X’s Superfly becomes a bland film with flashy moments brought down by boring cartoonish characters, a lackluster plot, and laughable special effects.
Attempting to have one last major score, Priest (Trevor Jackson) uses all of the pieces in his drug-dealing empire he has created to earn enough to retire for good. But as he begins to put his plan into action, insubordinate members of his crew and other rival gangs hinder Priests ability to succeed. Now that everyone is on his tail, including a crooked Atlanta cop (Jennifer Morrison), Priest is going to have to pull out all the stops in order to retire and survive.
Superfly definitely has a specific style that both modernizes it and gives it energy. Flashing lights and high profile cars showcase the lifestyle Priest and his crew live. It feels incredibly different from other gangster stories and audiences will be mesmerized by the colorful and lively club settings. Not to mention, Director X’s use of rap music constantly keeps scenes moving and shows off the personalities of these characters. It’s an added touch that makes certain scenes a little more memorable.
However, audiences won’t likely remember them anyway as outside the aesthetics and music, there is nothing to care about in Superfly. Jackson’s Priest, while smart and calculated, is an extremely boring character. His personality never really changes much and the film even attempts to make him more interesting by having him be trained in martial arts. This leads to some interesting action sequences that are sparsely seen throughout the film.
The rest of the cast feel like a traditional cast of cartoon characters and have ridiculous dialogue and uninteresting personalities. This is especially true for the film’s rival gang, The Snow Patrol, as audiences will be unable to take them seriously and they don’t add anything great to the plot. As a whole, the character in the film are just plain unlikable and audiences are not going to find any sort of relatability with Priest or his crew.
The film is also littered with terrible special effects that are often paired with the film’s action sequences. Gunshot wounds tend to look incredibly fake, blood looks more like a dark mess, and explosions are laughably bad. Superfly also falls into the trap of overusing slow-motion to make scenes seem “cool.” Instead they feel way too drawn out and audiences will be annoyed by how long they can be.
Not even the plot can honestly save this movie being a worthless watch. Audiences will be faced with tons of set-up that leads to a third act that tries to tie things up as fast as possible. There aren’t many consequences for Priest and his can feel very predictable. The film is also filled with shameless cameos and over the top sex scenes that only add to the mediocrity of Superfly and are clearly taken from a misogynistic approach.
Unfortunately, Superfly’s eye-catching style won’t keep viewers attached to the meaningless plot and uninteresting characters. It’s nothing special and definitely worth skipping.