Candyman ★★★½

I appreciate the way the metaphor of the original film has been expanded here to involve gentrification and thereby at least hints at a more nuanced understanding of the horror of ghetto-ization.

The glorious cinematography shows us the city upside-down, misty, sinister, and melancholy. Mirrors and reflections abound forcing us to consider visual reality and the things that surfaces hide.

Alas, the script is mostly surface hiding little. The white characters are banal stereotypes who == SPOILER ALERT == must all die. But I'm not spoiling much because they are introduced to you as worthless unredeemable fodder. You might say, "that's how African Americans were treated in Hollywood for decades," and yes, fair enough. But if you've got a message, as this film does, banal stereotypes make it much less convincing. And here, the African American characters are also all surface with no depth. There's a back-story pointlessly tacked on to one with no follow-up, so someone must have realized this weakness at some point.

Given this, I found myself missing for the camp sensibility of the first film, which was somehow much more poignant. I was hoping for something more like that but without the central blonde.