top of page

Cut Throat City       review by Bobby Blakey

Rap iconic member of the Wu-Tang Clan The RZA has already made a name for himself in the music industry obviously, but also in film working on music, producing and directing one of my favorites The Man With The Iron Fists. Now he is returning to the director’s chair once again for his latest film Cut Throat City starring Demetrius Shipp Jr., Denzel Whitaker, Isaiah Washington, Kat Graham, Keean Johnson, Shameik Moore, and Tip T.I. Harris, with Eiza González, Ethan Hawke, Terrence Howard, and Wesley Snipes. Could this be yet another excellent addition to his filmography or will it sink underwater? 


Cut Throat City follows 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 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (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.

I found it interesting that this film is kind of and amalgam of a few genres including a heist film, crime drama and human struggle all wrapped up with a comic ideal undertone in a real world setting. This might seem a bit much, but it works. The film starts with a hint of Boyz N The Hood and injects the horrible tragedy of Hurricane Katrina in the mix to set the tone to their decision making. This alone would have made for a dramatic film, but then add in the heist element and you got something all new.

The cast were all great here with an interesting structure to the story and some really cool camera work throughout. While it’s far from the same movie 

the characters even reminded me of the cast of Juice which is even more ironic with star Demetrius Shipp Jr. playing Tupac in the All Eyez On Me. The story is nothing like that and not trying to be, just a vibe of the friendship portion of the film I got from them which remains strong throughout.

The supporting cast are good as well with T.I. looking to have the most fun. He fully embraces this horrible character but still has an element of unintentionally likability while knowing you can’t trust anything about him. It was great seeing more Wesley Snipes in a completely different kind of role that he does a great job with. I really enjoyed this film although there are some elements that might confuse some if you don’t really pay attention in the third act.

In the end this is a gritty crime drama that is familiar but offered up more than I expected. There are several nuances speaking to the struggles of the minority community sadly to this day but in a brilliant way that doesn’t come across preachy. I applaud RZA for cementing these important elements to the story that further impacts an already interesting and compelling film. Be sure to stick through the credits for a mid-credit sequence that is pretty important to the overall outcome of what unfolded in a way you may not expect.

In addition to the film this release also includes bonus content including behind-the-scenes footage and deleted scenes. Grab your copy of Cut Throat City available now on digital and then on Blu-ray and DVD on October 20th from Well Go USA.

bottom of page