Mr. Untouchable (2007) tells an interesting Harlem and inner city
story, through the eyes and minds of the most powerful and
influential gang members of the time, now quiet and retired
old-timers. They reminisce on life as it was back in the 1970's
and early 80's, for them, explaining it to the audience in an
understandable and personalized manner, making this film quite
The ring leader provides a narrative over the entire length of the
movie, a lot of Polaroids, coupled with a remarkable soundtrack
(made up of perhaps over a 100 audio numbers) demonstrating the
vast thought and effort in assembling it. Law enforcement also
comments on various events, from their angle.
Here, the failings of human beings are made clear. The errors of
judgment, naivete in face of the law, the struggle in balancing
logic and feelings of jealousy, vengeance, addiction to
narcotics, the drive and need for power, sexual domination, wealth
and influence in a particular community. The human ego influence
outcomes unpredictably time and again.
Here, Nick Barnes' narcotics empire (based in New York) is
recounted, from selling powder in "quarters" (spoonfuls) for $70
(coke or heroin), the wholesale origin from the mob, the
distribution end on various inner city corners (often grossing
$10k - $15k), "cutting" amounts, shoeboxes of cash ( $1 or $2
million USD), rubouts, rival gang conflicts, double crossings,
vicious and bloody murders, night clubs, gold watches, expensive
jewelry, luxury automobiles, confidential informants, wiretaps,
the method of organization of the racket, and more - it's all
Barnes' demise is brought about faster, in part, from a higher
public profile, through the mass media.
Barnes summarizes the modus operendi of dealers as selecting
"whomever has the best powder and the best power" in the ghetto.
Those at the top of the hierarchy, in this case, work hard also in
eliminating the middle man, to maximize profits and reduce costs
and complications, such that sales reach as high as $72 million
USD per year.
While maintaining a positive public image in the community through
public events and promotions, gifts, donations to the point of
being idolized more than the best athlete, Barnes behind the
scenes is the ultimate competitor. His policy is vicious, ends
justifying the means, a winning at all costs psychology.
At the same time, the USA's number of addicts already reaching 1
million people, expands by 100k to 200k per annum, from cultural
and social pressures making narcotics fashionable.
Barnes explains the paradox of rolling over with anyone's natural
ability, tendency or propensity to adapt to their environment, in
which a belief system of values, rewards and penalties is laid
out, as far as behaviors being accepted or rejected. In this case,
the rage and jealousy of his mistress, empire and wealth
benefitting his partners while he's locked up with a life sentence
is too much to bear.
Finally, an obvious element are the consequences of being
pigeon-holed in a lifestyle, almost as if wearing blinds and being
dragged into gangland rubouts of many victims, many of them