Cut Throat City marks a rare turn behind the camera for RZA – the multi-talented man who’s one of the founders of the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, as well as a solo artist, musician, record producer, writer, director, actor, and composer. I thoroughly enjoyed his 2012 debut feature, the martial arts action adventure The Man with the Iron Fists (which he wrote, directed, and starred in), so I’m keen to see what this is all about.
Based on a story by debut writer Paul Cuschieri, Cut Throat City follows four friends (Shameik Moore, Demetrius Shipp Jr., Denzel Whitaker, and Keean Johnson) from a poor neighbourhood in New Orleans struggling to survive in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which decimated large swathes of the city back in 2005. Desperate, they turn to a local gangster for help, who in turn demands that the four rob a casino in the center of the city to prove their worth.
The movie features a strong supporting cast that includes Ethan Hawke, Eiza Gonzalez, Kat Graham, Isaiah Washington, T.I., Terrence Howard, and Wesley Snipes.
The official synopsis is as follows:
From director RZA comes the explosive “Cut Throat City,” the story of four boyhood friends in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward who return after Hurricane Katrina to find their homes decimated, with no jobs, and no help from FEMA. Out of options, they reluctantly turn to a local gangster, who offers them one shot at turning their situations around – by pulling off a dangerous heist in the heart of the city. When the job goes bad, the friends find themselves on the run, hunted by two relentless detectives and a neighborhood warlord who thinks they stole the heist money.
Let’s take a look:
Good person does a bad thing for a bad person because they’re desperate, and then things go sideways. It’s a basic underlying plot we’ve seen played out a thousand times, so it’s the execution that counts and I’m pretty happy with what I just watched. This looks like a solidly put together crime action caper with a strong cast.
What do you think?
Cut Throat City is due for release in the US on 10 April.
Last Updated: February 14, 2020