As with much blaxploitation, Jack Hill’s Foxy Brown is hard to review. It’s not high art by any means of course. But like B-level spaghetti westerns, it’s awfully entertaining. Pam Grier stars as Foxy Brown, a tough woman in an relationship with an undercover cop and perhaps the hottest character in the history of film. When a drug cartel offs her boyfriend because her scumbag dealer brother played by Antonio Fargas. Although Foxy’s plans don’t always work all that well–she gets captured, shot full of heroin, and raped by rednecks in a shed–in the end, she gets her revenge in a real big way.
The politics of this film are also a bit hard to parse. Jack Hill is white. So while the film does show black power to some extent (the whole cartel is made up of racist whites), it’s not like the film also doesn’t descend to stereotype at times. The black power group is taking back their streets, but what does it mean? This may not be a key point, but it’s worth a discussion. I think at the very least, the film does represent the conflicted state of the urban black community in the 1970s, with black power groups trying to figure out how to remain relevant in a world where drugs rule and there are no economic opportunities for black people. That direct of a political discourse is missing here of course, but it’s the subtext and I think a powerful one.
Fun, probably not worth thinking about too much.