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2 reviews, 1 rating

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Krush Groove
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by Jack Sommersby

"Good Music, Mostly-Good Time"
3 stars

There are worse ways to kill a Sunday afternoon, believe me.

Krush Groove is the kind of harmless entertainment that satisfies well enough even though it's lightweight and doesn't really stick in the memory like, say, Prince's Purple Rain, which attempted to instill a psychological interpretation into the musical mix and came up with something better than expected. Here, the setting is the Big Apple and the up-and-coming rap group Krush Groove who's without a major record label yet is taking orders for more albums out of their small-time office than they've been able to get pressed. Cash-crunched, the group's manager, who's the brother of one of the group, ill-advisedly borrows the necessary five-thousand from a smooth-talking yet vicious loan shark; and it pretty much goes without saying that eventually this will result in a threatening conflict, which, as is presented here, is low-grade, perfunctory stuff that's extraneous at best. Conflict also rears its ugly head between members of the group, with the manager tactfully fielding offers with the money-hungry singers more receptive to an immediate offer with cash rather than loyalty on the brain. Suffice to say, everything gets neatly resolved in the end in the name of filmdom-formulaic, but getting from start to finish is, while not particularly persuasive, colorful and appealing. The director, Michael Schultz, whose previous African-American-dominated work ranges from Car Wash to The Last Dragon to Disorderlies, isn't necessarily the best at shaping individual sequences (he likes giving just about every scene its own built-in climax), but he keeps things loose and shows quite the affectation for actors (every role whether starring or supporting is wonderfully cast). As befitting the genre, the many musical numbers gain from enjoyable lyrics and adequate staging that never turns mechanical, and though the lighting by the talented Ernest Dickerson renders some of the exteriors so soft-focused they look as if they've been photographed through a gauze pad, the numbers are garnished with a gorgeous gelatinousness that works on you in all the ways intended. And topping things off is the nice ingredient of the The Fat Boys, an amateur group consisting of three mischievous high-schoolers who're as ingratiating as cotton candy and musically pleasing to the ear as the ringing of an overdue dinner bell. (Speaking of which, a number with them gorgedly whoofing through a $3.95 all-you-can-eat buffet like a well-oiled farm combine is a particular delight.) Krush Groove doesn't put on much in the way of pretension, thank goodness (which is good because the dialogue is mediocre at best), and its ninety-five-minute running time flows freely. But for some odd reason what up to a point is fluffy PG fare is flip-flopped into R-rated territory with unnecessary late-in-the-game profanity that coarsely clashes in tone, as if a demonic Dennis the Menace snuck into the dubbing bay and spouted garbage as retaliation for having been made to sit in the corner. Quite distasteful, this.

While its U.S. box-office take was only a little above $11 million, it still qualifies as a success for its budget was only $3 million.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6757&reviewer=327
originally posted: 06/21/09 10:17:46
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Los Angeles Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/25/04 Alfred Guy For nostalgia, 4 stars. But also 4 for cheese. 4 stars
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  25-Oct-1985 (R)



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