Monkey Hustle

Rated PG 90 minutes 2013

The original blaxploitation craze was petering out by the time American International Pictures released this anemic 1977 comedy, shot in Chicago and interesting now only for its south-side locations. Yaphet Kotto holds the movie together as a natty, fast-talking thief who schools a crew of teenagers in the title art, and Rudy Ray Moore models all the latest pimp fashions as another local entrepreneur, who's trying to keep an expressway project from wrecking the neighborhood. The best films of the genre integrated superb soul scores with the action, but this offers only a tacky, endlessly repeated theme song. Arthur Marks directed.

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