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Monday, November 28, 2022

Set It Off (1996) – Movie Review

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Jelisa M.
Jelisa is a lover of all music, but 90's R&B has a special place in her heart. She considers the 90's a groundbreaking era for black entertainment that should be celebrated more. "Music is my love language and movies are my mistress."

Movie Review • “Frankie wanna blow up the bank uh! Frankie wanna rob the bank uh!” This week was the 26th anniversary of one of the most popular 90’s film Set It Off. After the success of F. Gary Gray’s debut Friday, New Line Cinema selected him as the director for his second feature film & once again he did not disappoint.

This film introduced us to Kimberly Elise, as this was her first film ever. One of the producers found her waitressing at a restaurant. This would also be the first lead role for Queen Latifah & one of her greatest roles that she considers her favorite as well. She played the role so well I know there is a piece of Cleo in her, I mean she is from Jersey so I know that side is on standby. Frankie is one of my favorite characters from Vivica. You knew that robbing the banks was more than just getting paid, she took them firing her personal so this was her way of payback.

I wish we could have gotten an update on Stoney, we needed to know where she ended up 2 years later & if she ever got back in contact with Keith. We don’t even know how much money she got away with & what kind of home TiTi’s son ended up in. The movie had me invested like this was based on a true story, & had me feeling like I knew them personally so each death hit different. The death that will go down in history is Cleo’s shoot out with the cops. When she lit that cigarette we already knew how it was about to end. Due to that one scene, Queen Latifah has a “no death clause” in her contracts. I’m not mad at that because I don’t think I can handle another death like Cleo’s.

Set It Off was the first time we ever got to the see the struggle of black women living in the hood. F. Gary Gray did an amazing job highlighting that men aren’t the only ones affected by their surroundings, everyone just handles their situations different. The one connection that every hood movie has is that one character that will always say something similar to “the hood is all we know.” I think the ladies could have made it out after robbing the second bank if they would have stashed their money somewhere else. If they did make it out, do you think they would have made a sequel? All I know is this is one classic that SHOULD NOT be touched. 

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