Cut Throat City... Reviewed!

Shout out to Well Go USA Entertainment for providing a copy of this film for my review.

Cut Throat City is harsh (hence the name), they tried to pump a little sunshine and romance in there... but the film boomeranged back to a dramatic place for the sake of delivering more action with a confusing twist. By the way, Cut Throat City debuted at #1 on Netflix's Top 10 trending chart ahead of its #FYC Awards Campaign.

Story: Even though Cut Throat City is fictional, it was still derived from a reality that some face on a daily basis (to an extent). I say to an extent because I totally understand how the main character Blink, felt coming from what some would consider as... the bad part of town while trying to improve life for his family. His goal was to have his comic book picked up by a publisher to turn things around, but he was shown the door... regardless of his eye-catching work. There was some criticism in there that was later utilized to bring it home... but let's dive into the focus of the film.

Life seemed on the up and up, but... Hurricane Katrina took life and turned the difficulty setting up times 10.

Left with no job, no help from FEMA, and limited resources drying up... Blink got together with his childhood friends Miracle, Junior, plus Andre, to reluctantly seek an opportunity from a local gangster by the name of... Cousin (played by Tip T.I. Harris).

What's the opportunity? A heist of sorts, at one one of the few moneymakers still in town, the casinos.

The web starts to tangle as the movie rolls out because Cousin also happens to be the... cousin of Blink's supportive wife, Demyra (played by Katerina Graham). All hell breaks loose on their mission for Cousin, so that doesn't exactly make the best working relationship. When you add in the cops, plus the Saint's crew (led by Terrance Howard) on the opposite side... you can imagine how crazy things can get during their desperate attempt to earn a dollar. Oh yeah, Detective Lucinda (played by Eiza Gonzalez)... went to school with Blink, so she also knew him during his childhood and was well aware of his talents.

The web tangles even further because Detective Lucinda finds connections between gangsters and dirty cops during her quest to piece together the puzzle that could land Blink in prison. Did I fail to mention that one of the Detectives (played by Ethan Hawke) is also linked to... Demyra? Small world.

I would say that there were some ups in this film, but they were short-lived or left more to be desired along with the character development. I think I was pulled out of the film because it didn't feel cohesive enough for me, yes... you had an on-going situation in the background, but outside of Blink trying to survive in quicksand... it just felt like he was going from point A to B interacting with caricatures that will later come in handy. I didn't see the goals of his friends start to take form at all, it just felt like they were inserted into the story, and the location... along with most of the other actors. I got a New York vibe from Blink who was supposed to be from... Louisiana. I don't want to make it seem like there can't be someone like Blink from the area... he just reminded me of guys I knew from New York (with terminology that I'd more so align with NY than LA).

Cousin was interesting in the movie, but... he was the biggest caricature of all. Just felt like the writer was out of touch, he could've been more realistic without being that over the top (in terms of his mindset). 

What bummed me out... was not being able to see a win in between, it felt like the same old tactics were used from the start that landed them in hot water and they willingly jumped right back into that pot of hot water again during the final heist. I scratched my head during that final heist though, because I question if it really happened. I got a sigh of relief after seeing a victorious situation occur in the end, but that's where the confusion came in as to what the outcome truly was. That's based on the final scene with Lawrence (played by Wesley Snipes) before the credits ran. I didn't see Blink, so then I was like... what really happened to him?

I thought that was it, but I noticed that there was still a nice stretch of time left on the movie and knew it couldn't all be the credits. So I sat through the initial credits (which weren't long) and got sort of a clearer view of what happened and what didn't happen (because I saw a certain character). That's as clear as I can present it without spoiling it for you, but... you'll see what I mean.

Visuals: When it comes to the visuals... for the most part they were standard (which is fine) with some dynamic shots tucked in there. I like when they zoomed into the background while talking at a cafe, and when the camera zoomed out they were in their gear prepared for their... next heist. I think I only saw that in a music video or two once upon a time... but this flowed a little better.

Nothing seemed off or overdone... so I can give the visual a solid thumbs up.

Audio: As far as audio goes... I enjoyed the sound effects in the shoot outs. The background music sounded a little louder than it had to be... and I found myself turning it down a little while using headphones or speakers (for some of the music). Other than that... standard vocal tracks and sound effects were good.

Price: Pricewise... Cut Throat City's MSRP was $29.98 on Blu-ray + DVD. I guess I can see that price for both formats in the same package... but still I would've sold it for $19.99 (in order to sweeten the pot and increase the temptation to buy). At the time of this review... you can get Cut Throat City for $12.96 for the Blu-ray + DVD combo.

Overall, it's not a bad movie... I've watched it 3 times so far. The third time was literally to playback and make sense of the parts I didn't get. I still question something that happened, but there's no way it could have happened based on the final scene I saw.

Story 3

Visuals 5

Audio 4

Price 5 (I would've given it a 3 for the MSRP)

4.25 out of 5 Cool Points