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Original Gangstas

Posted on

Original Gangstas

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
99 minutes
performer:
Oscar Brown Jr., Jim Brown, Pam Grier, Fred Williamson
director:
Larry Cohen
genre:
musical

We gave it a B+

The ‘stas of the title are a trio of ’70s blaxploitation stars — Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, and Pam Grier — who star in this contemporary shoot-’em-up with a conscience. The three play middle-agers in a crime-ridden area of Gary, Ind., who are sick and tired of being bullied by local gang-bangers. Director Larry Cohen is no stranger to B-movie mayhem — this is the guy who did Hell Up in Harlem, among others. As usual, Cohen adds ironic subtext to the gunplay: Our heroes are the victims of a gang they themselves founded decades before. Original Gangstas works as an action flick, but also as an effective lament for a lost generation of inner-city African-American youth doomed to violent ends. B+