tek's rating: ½

Foxy Brown (R)
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Caution: spoilers.

This came out in 1974 (the year before I was born), but I didn't see it until 2015. It's probably the first blaxploitation film I've ever seen (unless you count Django Unchained), but it's a genre in which I've long had a vague interest. This is one of just a few such movies that I had a specific interest in seeing someday, though I've been aware of the genre's influence on some later things that I've seen. Anyway, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. There's been some debate over whether these films are more exploitative or empowering, and I'm sure I'm not qualified to answer that. Now that I've finally seen this movie, my personal opinion would be that it's a mix of the two qualities, but it seemed more empowering, to me. In any event, it was entertaining. Oh... and apparently it was originally meant to be a sequel to an earlier movie called "Coffy," which I haven't seen, but at the last minute that plan was changed. So... it's a standalone film. (But it has influenced other things, including Austin Powers in Goldmember, which I saw some time prior to this.)

It begins with this black guy named Link walking down the street, and then he realizes he's being followed by some white guys who mean to do him harm. But then a cop car comes by, and it stops at the same roadside concession stand where Link has stopped. So, the guys who are after him have to stop, as well. And 2015 me finds it at once ironic and refreshing that a black guy feels safer when he sees a couple of white cops. Meanwhile, Link goes to a pay phone to call his sister, Foxy Brown, and tells her he's in trouble. Right after the cops leave, Foxy arrives, rescues Link from his pursuers, and they go back to her place. Later, the two guys who were chasing Link report back to their superiors, Steve Elias and Katherine Wall. Steve and Katherine are really not happy that their thugs had let Link get away. Because Link owed them like $20,000. He's a drug dealer who had supposedly given up that business, at his sister's insistence, but he'd just moved on to a different racket. One that failed. But we soon find that he's back to his old drug-dealing ways.

Meanwhile, Foxy has a boyfriend, a federal narcotics officer named Dalton Ford, who had gone undercover and later testified against the drug ring operated by Steve Elias. However, Katherine runs a prostitution ring, and provides prominent people such as judges with hookers in order to get them to let Steve's people off, if they're ever arrested and go to trial. So... anyone Dalton had testified against got off. A few months ago, the bad guys had sent the same goons who were recently after Link to kill Dalton. And they thought he was dead, but actually he had survived, and had cosmetic surgery to change his appearance. He was given a new identity, Michael Anderson, and intended to get out of the line of work he was in, and go away with Foxy. However, Link recognizes Michael as Dalton, and he calls the people he owes money, in the hopes that the information he provides will get himself off the hook. And the goons soon show up and kill Michael. So, Foxy wants revenge. She goes undercover working for Katherine, and manages to screw up her latest deal for a judge to get off some of Steve's people. But later she's caught, and things go very badly for her. But she escapes, and hooks up with some vigilante friends of hers, whom she enlists to help her complete her revenge.

Anyway, I probably enjoyed the movie from a modern perspective on a very 70s film genre, knowing the influence it's had, than I would have if I'd actually been around to watch it in the 70s. Either way, I don't think it's a bad film. I mean, Pam Grier was pretty decent as Foxy, even if almost everyone else's acting was bad. Seriously, there was some really bad acting in this movie. And a lot of the writing wasn't great, either (though bits and pieces of it were pretty fun). And... my appreciation is enhanced by a general capacity to enjoy things ironically. But whatever, I'm just glad to have seen it, for whatever reason.

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