Super Fly Film Review
By: Chloe Massoni
Super Fly is without a doubt one of the most pointless and dragging films that I have ever had the displeasure of sitting through. Gordon Parks Jr. creates a film with no plot, no emotional draw, no lasting humor, no jump-evoking horror, and to be bluntly honest, no entertainment.
Ron O’Neal plays a lead role as a drug-dealing womanizer with a twisted view of moving up in the world. Carl Lee plays supporting character Eddie who reluctantly agrees to go along with his friend’s plans, getting caught up in the mix of the excitement along the way. The pair gets themselves into some trouble selling drugs on the street.
The film did not reach me at all. I didn’t find any meaning behind the film, and there seemed to be little-to-no social unveiling. If Parks Jr. meant to create something more meaningful or significant from this movie, he certainly did not succeed, maybe because he did such a poor job creating any attachment to the characters. Ron O’Neal and Carl Lee’s performances are weak and the actors make no connections with their characters, rendering the entire film useless and completely without entertainment.
The bathtub sex scene between Priest and Georgia is totally unnecessary and entirely too long. There is no romantic lead up making the audience interested in any love affair between the couple. The camera focus rests only on the woman’s body, much too closely, and for way too long a period of time. The conversation in this scene is lame and completely without sentiment.
Parks Jr. includes so little dialogue in the movie that it is near impossible to form any kind of connection with the characters. The little exchanges that do incur between characters are flat and have little meaning. O’Neal and Lee do an incredibly poor job at relating to each other throughout the movie. There seems to be no chemistry between the actors.
The only scene of the film that I found at all entertaining is the one in which Priest dips the crucifix that hangs around his neck into a pile of cocaine and then puts the crucifix into his nostril to snort cocaine off of his cross necklace. The irony of the scene is evident and without a doubt intentional, though I believe this to be one of the only successfully intentional scenes in the entire film.
The majority of the film consists of soul music and driving around silently, and though there most certainly is meant to be some significance in the repeated music and views, especially as this is the beginning of Blaxploitation films and the representation of African Americans in Hollywood, the sentiment is lost due to the crushing nothingness that makes up the entirety of the movie. The film seems to represent the hardship that African Americans are exposed to, often born into poor families, making them more likely to be susceptible to gang and drug involvement from an early age, and then struggle of escaping such a life. Priest is meant to be a sort of hero, getting out of the drug world and coming out the other end with the option of a new life. It is a shame that the film is so dreadfully slow that it is near impossible to follow the plot enough to get the empowering message.
Gordon Parks Jr. can say goodbye to his career in film after creating Super Fly, if you ask me. This movie will seal his fate in failure. After painstakingly sitting through the longest hour and thirty-three minutes of my life, I can say with confidence that this film makes a bad name for Blaxploitation films.