Wednesday, November 24, 2010

GORDON'S WAR (1973) - Ossie Davis

Leave it to "Da Mayor" (director Ossie Davis) to get the job done right. Paul Winfield plays the titular Vietnam vet Gordon who returns home from the war to the Harlem streets to find his wife dead from smack and the neighborhood teeming with pimps and pushers. Unlike the GIs in Brotherhood of Death, Gordon does not pussy-foot around. He gets right down to business, breaking the legs of the dealer who sold to her in a back alley within the first ten minutes. Soon after, he's assembled his crew of army buddies to work their way up the junk supply chain.

As in Cotton Comes to Harlem, Ossie delivers a very solid piece of blaxploitation action fare with an eye toward cleaning up the ills of his uptown community. It's not Malcolm X exactly, but there are some nice touches. Gordon's crew spritzing pimp cars and platform boots with an invisible-ink like spray paint so they show up as hard targets on infrared scopes. Gordon turning a Right Guard deodorant can into a flamethrower. Grace Jones in her first acting role (topless and scary as usual). If you're a fan of blaxploitation and angry veterans, check this one out.

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