Watch Original Gangstas
- 1 hr 39 min
Original Gangstas is a 1996 American action crime film directed by Larry Cohen and starring Fred Williamson, Jim Brown, Pam Grier, and Richard Roundtree. The film revolves around a group of former gang members who return to their old neighborhood in Gary, Indiana to take on a new gang that has taken over the area. The film begins by introducing us to John Bookman (Jim Brown), who has returned to his hometown of Gary after a long absence. He meets up with his old friend Jake Trevor (Fred Williamson) and they reminisce about the old days when they were members of a feared gang called the Rebels. They soon discover that their old neighborhood has been taken over by a new gang led by a ruthless drug lord named The Rake (Robert Forster).
Bookman and Trevor decide to gather together some of their old gang members, including Laurie Thompson (Pam Grier), and take on The Rake and his gang. They also seek the help of Reverend Dorsey (Richard Roundtree), who is influential in the community and has strong ties to the police.
As they begin their mission, the Original Gangstas must face off against not only The Rake's gang, but also corrupt cops who are working with the drug lord. The situation becomes even more complicated when it is revealed that The Rake is working with a politician who is running for mayor and is willing to do anything to win the election.
The film is action-packed, with plenty of shootouts and fight scenes. The Original Gangstas use their street smarts and their old-school tactics to take on the new gang, who are more heavily armed and organized. The film also touches on themes of community and loyalty, as the Original Gangstas come together to protect their neighborhood and the people they care about.
One of the strengths of Original Gangstas is its cast of veteran actors. Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, and Pam Grier were all stars of the blaxploitation genre in the 1970s, and they bring a sense of coolness and charisma to their roles. Richard Roundtree, best known for his role in the Shaft films, also delivers a solid performance as the preacher who joins the fight against The Rake.
The film also features some notable supporting performances, including Robert Forster as The Rake, who is a menacing villain with a sadistic streak. He is contrasted by Paul Winfield, who plays a compassionate doctor who tries to help the gang members who are injured in the violence.
Another standout aspect of the film is its soundtrack, which features a mix of classic funk and hip-hop tracks alongside original music by funk band Maceo and the Macks. The film's opening credits sequence features a montage of images from Gary's past and present, set to a funk instrumental.
While the film has its flaws - some of the dialogue is wooden and the plot is predictable - it is a solid entry in the action genre, with a nostalgic vibe that will appeal to fans of the blaxploitation era. The film also has a message about the importance of community and coming together to fight against injustice, which is a relevant theme even today.
In conclusion, Original Gangstas is a fun, action-packed film that will appeal to fans of the blaxploitation genre and anyone who enjoys a good old-fashioned action movie. With its cast of veteran actors, memorable soundtrack, and themes of loyalty and community, the film has stood the test of time and remains a cult classic to this day.
Original Gangstas is a 1996 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.7.