VOTE NOW FOR THE BEST OF ORLANDO® 2021!

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Movie: Baadasssss!

Posted on Thu, Jul 1, 2004 at 4:00 AM

***1/2
Our Rating: 3.50

In dramatizing the most significant episode in his father's filmmaking career, Mario Van Peebles turns in a historical account that's frenetic, self-important, overacted and stuffed with unnecessary directorial flourishes – in other words, a perfect match for its subject matter. The 1971 revenge drama Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song was hardly subtle, and that's what enabled it to jump-start the black cinema revolution (and maybe, as this movie asserts, independent film in general). Watching Van Peebles portray papa Melvin's struggle to bring filmdom into line with his militant conscience, you can't help but be swept up in the rediscovered intoxication of it all. Though the script's stiff dialogue and narration (adapted from Melvin Van P.'s published memoir) love to remind us how momentous every plot development is, the story moves ahead on fleet feet, pausing only for some effective dramatic interplay between the Melvin character and his offspring/apprentice. (Khleo Thomas plays the young Mario.) The celebrity cameos, meanwhile, are exactly what such affairs should be: flat-out goofy. Is that really Adam West? You bet your aaasssss.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 5, 2021

View more issues

Calendar

© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation