We gave it a D-
This must have seemed like a super-high concept to the producers, what with all the crack and crime and general mayhem on the streets today. Why not resurrect one of the old blaxploitation film heroes from the ’70s, add some crazy criminals and a crooked lawyer, throw in a little rap and soul music, and call it The Return of Superfly?
Unfortunately, this lifeless abomination is an insult to the original Superfly as well as Shaft, Coffy, Cleopatra Jones, Black Gunn, Black Caesar, Slaughter, and all the other wonderfully entertaining junk of uptown movie houses and late-night TV. Forget about acting — even Oscar-nominated Margaret Avery (The Color Purple) is embarrassingly wooden, and lead character Nathan Purdee is wasted in this mess. And the direction? How about gun battles so phony that bullet holes appear in places before shots are fired? Even the music by Curtis Mayfield (the composer of the acclaimed soundtrack for the original Superfly) is derivative and lackluster. The Return of Superfly should be returned to sender.