By Dennis Hartley
(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on June 17, 2023)
Coffy? Meet Cinnamon. Written, directed and executive produced by Bryian Keith Montgomery Jr., this crime thriller marks the first offering under the banner of Village Roadshow Pictures’ Black Noir Cinema, which according to Variety, “…aims to adapt and redefine the Blaxploitation genre and translate its spirit of empowerment to a new generation of Black audiences.” With all due respect, isn’t that an avenue that filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino (e.g. Jackie Brown, Django Unchained) and the Hughes Brothers (e.g. Dead Presidents) have already been traversing for a couple of decades? I’m just asking questions.
Hailey Kilgore plays a young woman who works at a gas station and aspires to make it big in the music biz. David Iacono plays the petty thief who sweeps her off her feet and vows to make her a star by any means necessary (he’s handsome, but roguish). The pair brainstorm a scheme to score some cash. Complications ensue. Kilgore and Iancono are appealing, and having players like Damon Wayans and genre stalwart Pam Grier (still a formidable presence) on board lends cachet, but the film falls curiously flat.