Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Big Score

Directed by Fred Williamson.
1983. Rated R, 85 minutes.
Fred Williamson
Richard Roundtree
John Saxon
Nancy Wilson

Det. Hooks (Williamson) kills the local gangster while busting up a major drug deal. However, the money the suspect was seen with has disappeared and Hooks has to prove he didn't take it. As the star, Williamson exudes cool as always. As director, he was always more focused on his craft than the average blaxploitation filmmaker and it shows here. And this movie actually came out well after that era had ended, even though he is of that time. All of this means some of the elements the genre is known for are present but dialed way down while others are totally absent. Well, except for that one wonderfully overdone car explosion that would make Michael Bay proud. The result is a gritty cop drama without most of the antics and unintentional humor we've come to expect from blaxploitation. It's certainly flawed, but enjoyable nonetheless. There were two major hiccups for me. First, Richard Roundtree inexplicably disappears about halfway through the movie. Second is the casting...ahem...miscasting of legendary jazz songstress Nancy Wilson. She plays Williamson's love interest but comes across so nurturing it seems that whenever he's having a rough day he pops by mom's house to get it on. Ewww. It doesn't help that she looks quite a bit older than he does. Thankfully, the two don't have an actual love scene. Anyhoo, fans of old school cop dramas should give it a look. It won't make you forget The French Connection but it's a decent watch.

MY SCORE: 6/10

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