Original Gangstas

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Original Gangstas ★★ 1996 (R)

In Hollywood everything old eventually becomes new again. John Bookman (Williamson) returns to his old neighborhood in Gary, Indiana, after his father is brutally shot by a gang leader. Things have changed from Bookman's days of gang banging, with the streets swarming with young machine gun-toting lowlifes. Bent on revenge, cigar-chewing Bookman, aided by childhood friends Jake (Brown), Slick (Roundtree), and Bubba (O'Neal), decide to take back their streets with a little help from Foxy Brown herself (Grier), as a greiving mother. The nostalgia quotient is high watching these ‘70s blaxploitation stars together in one movie, older, more gray and a little wider, but still able to kick butt. Serious topic (gang violence) is lost in a conventional vigilante vehicle, which sacrifices a message for an all-too-familiar and bloody showdown. 98m/C VHS, DVD . Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, Pam Grier, Ron O'Neal, Richard Roundtree, Paul Winfield; D: Larry Cohen; W: Aubrey Rattan; C: Carlos Gonzalez; M: Vladimir Horunzhy.