Monday, August 17, 2020

Cut Throat City Review: A Heist With More Going On

Cut Throat City. Action, heist, thriller set in New Orleans with a diverse, predominantly black cast.  Directed by RZA and starring Eiza González	...	Lucinda Valencia Ethan Hawke	Ethan Hawke	...	Jackson Symms Keean Johnson	Keean Johnson	...	Junior Wesley Snipes	Wesley Snipes		 Kat Graham	Kat Graham	...	Demyra Isaiah Washington	Isaiah Washington	...	Sinclair Stewart Joel David Moore	Joel David Moore	...	Peter Felton Terrence Howard	Terrence Howard	...	The Saint Shameik Moore	Shameik Moore	...	Blink Rob Morgan	Rob Morgan	...	Courtney T.I.	T.I.	...	'Cousin' Bass Andrene Ward-Hammond	Andrene Ward-Hammond	...	Andre's Mother Sam Daly	Sam Daly	...	O'Malley Denzel Whitaker	Denzel Whitaker	...	Andre Demetrius Shipp Jr.	Demetrius Shipp Jr.
Release date: August
Running time: 123 minutes
Starring:ar Eiza González, Ethan Hawke, Shameik Moore, T.I.

Set after Hurricane Katrina, four boyhood friends out of options reluctantly accept an offer to pull off a dangerous heist in the heart of New Orleans.  However, when the heist goes wrong, the friends are in even deeper trouble.  As they try to hide from their crimes, they learn more about the dark underbelly of New Orleans the real power behind the city.

One thing Cut Throat City has going for it--and is evident the moment this movie starts--is a sense of style.  The movie opens with a great animated introduction that lets you know that this movie is not going to look like your typical heist film.  From the colors of the opening, to the vibrant characters dripping with personality, to the opening credits that have an old school charm, to the artistic nature of the main character, Cut Throat City definitely has its own feel.  And this style makes even more sense because the main character is a comic book animator.  It was great to see a protagonist who is artistic and black, eschewing your typical movie stereotypes to show a complete character.  His character tries to stay out of the violence going on around him through his art, but unfortunately he is drawn into a darker life.

Cut Throat City. Action, heist, thriller set in New Orleans with a diverse, predominantly black cast.  Directed by RZA and starring Eiza González	...	Lucinda Valencia Ethan Hawke	Ethan Hawke	...	Jackson Symms Keean Johnson	Keean Johnson	...	Junior Wesley Snipes	Wesley Snipes		 Kat Graham	Kat Graham	...	Demyra Isaiah Washington	Isaiah Washington	...	Sinclair Stewart Joel David Moore	Joel David Moore	...	Peter Felton Terrence Howard	Terrence Howard	...	The Saint Shameik Moore	Shameik Moore	...	Blink Rob Morgan	Rob Morgan	...	Courtney T.I.	T.I.	...	'Cousin' Bass Andrene Ward-Hammond	Andrene Ward-Hammond	...	Andre's Mother Sam Daly	Sam Daly	...	O'Malley Denzel Whitaker	Denzel Whitaker	...	Andre Demetrius Shipp Jr.	Demetrius Shipp Jr.
And one thing that Cut Throat City has is characters--tons of characters.  These characters are introduced throughout the film and keep the cast and situations feeling fresh.  And the motivations and interests of these individuals are far more complex than your normal heist movie.  Each character has more depth than you would normally expect--generally having more than one motivation for what they are doing--which leads to people that are easier to relate or sympathize with.  And these characters are portrayed by some amazing acting.  Cut Throat City ha a varied cast of very talented actors and they all bring their A game.  And the writing of these characters is genuinely good.  I appreciated the references in some of the conversations, and the dialogue overall is more complex than you would expect from a heist movie. 


The story of the film is relatively linear but definitely has plenty going on.  The story layers on situation after situation, forcing the friends to adapt if they want to survive and ever hope to return home.  The film introduces new characters, threats, and story threads throughout, and as you learn more about the situation, the film throws a wrench in that story.  This movie has a lot more going on than originally meets the eyes; it has stories on stories on stories with twists and turns. But one thing that won't change in the story is who you're rooting for and the fact that at the end of the film, you will have taken a satisfying trip through New Orleans.

Cut Throat City has a lot more going on than meets the eye, from its complex characters, to its involved story, and wonderful dialogue, this film steals the spotlight.  

Watch it.
Cut Throat City. Action, heist, thriller set in New Orleans with a diverse, predominantly black cast.  Directed by RZA and starring Eiza González	...	Lucinda Valencia Ethan Hawke	Ethan Hawke	...	Jackson Symms Keean Johnson	Keean Johnson	...	Junior Wesley Snipes	Wesley Snipes		 Kat Graham	Kat Graham	...	Demyra Isaiah Washington	Isaiah Washington	...	Sinclair Stewart Joel David Moore	Joel David Moore	...	Peter Felton Terrence Howard	Terrence Howard	...	The Saint Shameik Moore	Shameik Moore	...	Blink Rob Morgan	Rob Morgan	...	Courtney T.I.	T.I.	...	'Cousin' Bass Andrene Ward-Hammond	Andrene Ward-Hammond	...	Andre's Mother Sam Daly	Sam Daly	...	O'Malley Denzel Whitaker	Denzel Whitaker	...	Andre Demetrius Shipp Jr.	Demetrius Shipp Jr.

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