Jonathan Gilligan’s review published on Letterboxd:
New Jack City (1991)
Dir: Mario Van Peebles
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Judd Nelson, Allen Payne, Chris Rock
"Scotty help me! This movie was wild!"
Have you ever seen a movie you haven't seen in a very long time, so rewatching it was like watching a new movie? That was me with New Jack City.
Holy shit, this movie was way more wild than I remember it being! Some of the damn lines in this movie man!
"I wanna shoot you so bad, my dick's hard!" - Actual quote from Ice-T's character.
A mix of blaxploitation for the 90s era while touching on the crack epidemic, New Jack City surprisingly held up for me on rewatch. Huge amount of energy, tons of stylish, engaging story, and a solid cast across the board makes New Jack City works the way it does.
Wesley Snipes steals the show as Nino. Snipes is just so naturally charismatic in general and the charisma shows with Nino, but man when he has to be brutal and menacing, he makes for a fascinating villain. I finally remember where that crying Wesley Snipes meme comes from! Ice-T is also pretty solid here too! The main characters in general are pretty entertaining in their own right and carry the movie. Shit, even Chris Rock in a rare dramatic turn is convincing as a crack addict with the amount of screentime his character has.
Some of the supporting performances do admittedly kinda overcook their performances and it does get a little melodramatic and cliched at times. Also, the plot point of Scotty (Ice-T) infiltraiting Nino's gang does take a while to happen, but in terms of a crime drama/gangster movie, New Jack City is still pretty damn entertaining from beginning to to end.
Oh, and the damn soundtrack to this movie goes off dude!
To end this review:
"Sit your 5 dollar ass down before I make change!" is still one of the best threats in a movie I have ever heard tbh.
Rating: A strong 4/5 Stars.