Movies

PantherMario Van Peebles' hyperactive docudrama about the Black Panthers. If there's anything the movie gets right, it's the militant spectacle of young black...PantherDramaRMario Van Peebles' hyperactive docudrama about the Black Panthers. If there's anything the movie gets right, it's the militant spectacle of young black...1995-05-12Chris Rock
C+

Panther

Genre: Drama; Starring: Marcus Chong, Courtney B. Vance, Chris Rock; Status: In Season; MPAA Rating: In Season

Mario Van Peebles’ hyperactive docudrama about the Black Panthers. If there’s anything the movie gets right, it’s the militant spectacle of young black men, armed with guns and the law, gazing with unblinking hatred into the eyes of their oppressors and saying, in essence, ”So, how do you like it?” What Van Peebles’ volatile showmanship can’t conceal is Panther’s historical glibness and its almost total lack of dramatic depth. As the Panthers begin to grab national headlines in 1967, they commandeer the attention of the FBI and its famously paranoid head, J. Edgar Hoover. For the events to have import, though, we need insight into the minds and souls of the Panthers themselves. Instead, the movie turns Huey P. Newton (Marcus Chong) and Bobby Seale (Courtney B. Vance) into stick-figure icons. C+

Originally posted May 12 1995 — 12:00 AM EDT

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