been chasing this one a while and it was worth the wait with a strong cast and a more faithful treatment of the Ted Lewis novel than you might expect, ending and fate of Doreen/Rochelle? aside. Conversion of locale and characters are generally thoughtful and apt, there`s the obligatory machine gun/catsup scene you`ll get in these movies, but highlights centre around the character who replaces the novel`s 'Keith', played by young Alun Armstrong in the original film, he`s older and a used car salesman in this version, and a drunken post funeral scene of a cruise through town with the protaganist together with another scene where he tries to film a car ad without cursing violently steal the show for me.
Tyrone Tackett (Casey) returns home in order to find out why his brother suspiciously committed suicide. Soon he begins to uncover the truth, but as he gets nearer to finding out what's going on, the muscle he has been deploying to get clues, comes right back at him, and he is made aware he should leave town or else. But this doesn't deter Tyrone, and as he further sticks his nose in, he uncovers a ring of sleaze and vice at the root cause of it all, and it eventually becomes abundantly clear to him what has happened, something that involves more family members than just his brother, and something that leaves revenge as his only course of action...
Sound familiar? Yeah, I figured it might. As aside from a little film called Get Carter, this was also made from using Ted Lewis' book 'Jack's Return Home' as it's source material. Only this time around it's a blaxploitation version.. Bernie Casey plays the lead role, backed by a slew of faces from the genre, who you're sure to recognise. With the action, as one would possibly expect given it's ilk, cheap but thrilling; with plenty of garish bloodshed, skin, bad language, vulgar comedy and natty style. Although, it has to be said, the soundtrack wasn't as funky as I'd hoped.!
I imagine ultimately the question you'll be asking is 'is it any good, when compared to the Caine film?'. Of which the answer is... Well yeah, I don't see why not... Obviously not as good, and to be honest, it's almost certainly not even in the same league as the UK effort. But with that said, it's still entertaining, and I would have thought most 'Get Carter' fans will quite enjoy comparing the two films and their similar scenes and characters. I did. One thing is for sure though, and that's that although Bernie Casey might not be Michael Caine, he certainly carries off his own hard man/cool bad ass role to a tee. Not to mention of course, him having a better afro and a much more varied clothing collection than Caine. His choice in hats, a law unto it's own! With this film coming less close than the original (film) to the source material (not that the original movie was by any means a carbon copy of the novel!), albeit I liked the choice of trigger man (Gleason) and the unexpected outcome at the end this one a lot..
Other than Bernie's wardrobe malfunctions, highlights include: Some hilarious dialogue and put downs. A rather disturbing (faked) dog fight. Plenty of action. Pam Grier in a wondrous afro, getting nekid. ... Oh yeah, and I almost forgot Sam Laws' used car salesman is most amusing too!
If you're a fan of Caine's version, or indeed the author, you'll enjoy this without doubt. 3.75/5