★★ OUT 14 september / CERT 15 / 116 mins DIRECTOR Director X
Cast Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Michael Kenneth Williams
IF YOU’RE GOING to take on the pinnacle of Blaxploitation cinema, you’d better bring your A game. And Director X does summon all the visual panache you’d expect from a filmmaker who’s made videos for the likes of Rihanna and Drake. Drug dealer youngblood Priest (Jackson, oozing charisma) is looking for one last score before he quits the life for good. But with a rival gang, corrupt cops and a Mexican cartel boss to contend with, it’s not that simple. Sadly, despite good performances there’s much to dislike, not least a lack of a consistent tone. This should be a tightly paced, lurid B movie, but it feels over-long, and while it strives for the cultural significance of the original, it achieves banality.