February 21, 2017

Blacksploitation: Trouble Man

This movie is so great, but when people talk about Trouble Man, they're usually about to talk about the soundtrack. And it's a shame, because as great as the soundtrack is, the movie is just as good.

The plot unfolds something like this: Smart, cool, tough, resourceful; Mr. T is the man people seek out when they need the impossible done. That's precisely why local business partners, Chalky and Pete, turn to Mr. T when their floating craps games start getting hit on the regular. But it doesn't take long for T to get wise there's something more is going on. Mr. T's got to figure out who's behind everything, and fast, or this might be the last impossible task he takes on...

Our favorite parts: It's a pretty straight down the line hard-boiled detective movie (and that's our FAVORITE kind of crime story) set in a noir-esque world with tons of great duologue, twists and turns, fantastic (Craig R. Baxley fueled) action, and a classic soundtrack. It's truly one of our favorites we watched over the last few months.

Cast and crew: This is one of those Blacksploitation movies where the diversity is mostly in front of the camera with the notable exceptions of the director Ivan Dixon and makeup artist Bernadine Anderson

The director: Ivan Dixon only directed two feature length films, Trouble Man and The Spook Who Sat by the Door, which he did back to back. Both of these films are excellent and make us wish he'd had the opportunity to do more features in his otherwise long career. 

The soundtrack: If you love a good soundtrack and you don't have this masterpiece from Marvin Gaye, then fix that immediately! The entire time I have been writing this the title track has been floating through my brain, and I hope it never ends.

Further reading: Here's an article that breaks down pretty nicely why this movie, as great as it is, doesn't have the cult status it really deserves: http://n.pr/2kTCcw2

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