This week, our resident movie reviewer, Jeremy Morrison, is back with a brand new review of one of Olive Films most exciting new cult classic releases, “Hoodlum,” directed by the legendary Bill Duke and starring Laurence Fishburne, Tim Roth, Queen Latifah, Cicely Tyson, Andy Garcia and Vanessa Williams.
First, a quick synopsis of this release: In the tradition of The Godfather and The Cotton Club, Hoodlum recounts the uneasy alliance between the Italian and Jewish mafias who banded together to declare war on the black gangsters of New York’s Harlem in the 1920’s. Focusing on the relationship between the three rival leaders, “Bumpy” Johnson (Laurence Fishburne, Fled), Dutch Schultz (Tim Roth, Vincent & Theo), and Lucky Luciano (Andy Garcia, The Untouchables), Hoodlum, directed by Bill Duke (A Rage in Harlem) and co-starring Vanessa Williams (Soul Food), Cicely Tyson (Sounder), Queen Latifah (Chicago), Richard Bradford (The Mean Season) and William Atherton (Bio-Dome), is a compelling tale of gangland violence.
REVIEW: I’d say that ‘Hoodlum’ is an unsung hero, but I feel like people really dig this movie. Directed by Bill Duke (‘Mac’ from muthafuckin’ Predator, folks!), the film is set in the 1930s and is flawless as far as the style and look is concerned. The film is also loaded with top notch actors as well as Queen Latifah. As far as the story, the plot is that of a rather simple gangster story. There aren’t any bells or whistles here, but there doesn’t need to be. The story services the actors and hopefully that is why you catch this one on disc.
VERDICT: In regard to the cast, Laurence Fishburne plays Bumpy Johnson and is nothing short of fantastic. A film fans know, Fishburne rarely (if ever) turns out a bad performance and ‘Hoodlum’ is no exception to this rule. Tim Roth shines as Dutch Schultz, the head of the rival gang. Roth, like Fishburne, doesn’t suffer foolish roles gladly and seemingly gives his all in ever performance. Watching these two titan performers go head-to-head is a real treat and I recommend you pick up the newly released blu-ray from Olive Films. There isn’t enough love shown toward this film and I think we need to change that ASAP!
Jeremy L. Morrison, Staff Writer
About The Writer: Jeremy L. Morrison is the co-creator/host of the Acid Pop Cult Podcast, film reviewer and screenwriter. Jeremy has more than eight years experience in television and film production. His childhood fascination with the naked breasts featured in the Friday the 13th franchise prepared him for absolutely nothing in life. J-Mo lives by one motto: #wecantallbezacksnyder