By Vernon Nickerson
What would happen if a diverse POC cast made a 21st century redux of Les Miserables?
It would be “Cut Throat City”.
From director RZA and writer P.G. Cuschieri comes the explosive “Cut Throat City”, the story of four boyhood friends from New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward who return after Hurricane Katrina to decimated homes, no jobs, and no help from FEMA. Out of options, they reluctantly turn to a local gangster, who offers them one shot at turning their situations around—by pulling off a dangerous heist in the heart of the city. When the job goes bad, the friends find themselves on the run, hunted by two relentless detectives and a neighborhood warlord who thinks they stole the heist money.
Director RZA has crafted a graphic novel within a live-action novel. “Cut Throat City” is a striking film that is sometimes precious, sometimes profound and consistently challenging. This film is not traditional or stereotypical nor does it unintentionally exploit all of our common dramatic tropes.
“Cut Throat City” is a doppelganger metaphor of the times we are living in. Everyone has at least one thing they want to change about our current insanities. Confronting the audience with all of our nightmares and fantasies for over 2 hours could get a movie canceled with extreme prejudice. However, in a weird way, I loved it.
What nightmares and fantasies?Well for starters Religious idolatry is on track to ” kill them all”, according to Terrance Howard, fresh from the role of a lifetime plays a Bible- thumping and sexy crime- kingpin-as-moral-compass, a.k.a., The Saint. Meanwhile, The existential fear for Blink and his comrades-in-arms is unconditional love and success.
Wesley Snipes was a revelation ( to me) in his role as a downwardly mobile dad who abandoned Blink ( Shemeik Moore).
Director RZA’s critically acclaimed New Orleans crime drama “Cut Throat City” is now on Netflix. It debuted at #1 on Netflix and has been 1# for a while. It is also an 2021 Academy Awards contender. Ironically, if we “stay the current crazy course” with COVID-19, “Cut Throat City” may wind up building a loyal following, fingers crossed!
I guarantee everyone who sees this film will have something to say about their experience. To follow “Cut Throat City” and support or for more information go here https://www.wellgousa.com/films/cut-throat-city or Facebook