A group of African American soldiers in the Spanish-American War are pursued by their racist commander for desertion upon being betrayed set commander. Led by Jessie Lee, the boys head out west where they end up fighting a racial war in Jesse’s hometown inspired by his quest for revenge.
This nice little piece of nostalgia takes me back to the nineties and really makes me miss how action was done not so long ago. I was never much for westerns as a kid getting into movies (Clint Eastwood and the guns of old weren’t really my thing), that is until I watched YOUNG GUNS. Even then my romance with this genre was only limited to both YOUNG GUNS films, TOMBSTONE, THE QUICK AND THE DEAD and the recent 3:10 TO YUMA. Somewhere in the middle of all that I found POSSE. I loved it back then and though there are a few things that stick out nowadays, it’s still wildly entertaining.
I miss Mario Van Peebles, he was a cool and destructive force in the action world a decade or two ago but he’s all but disappeared lately. Peebles never became as mainstream as say Wesley Snipes but a lot like Ice T, he’s still got quite a few good flicks up his sleeve. Speaking of guys I miss around the campfire, Billy Zane is certainly amongst them. I like Zane for villains more so than good guys, and he’s great here but for my money you can’t get much better than DEMON KNIGHT for Billy Zane at his absolute best at being bad. The only thing that bothered me about these characters is that (spoiler alert) all the good ones seem to die fairly quick and easy during this adventure which is a bummer. Oh, and they certainly don’t make sex scenes like the one in this film anymore (Mario you sly dog, you), I miss those too.
The best thing about this story is the fact that they go on about African American cowboys, and specifically how there were an abundance of them back in the day, yet we never hear about them. I loved this concept and like most people was anxious to here more. There’s a lot of blatant slavery innuendos present, some acceptable by today’s standards and some walking the line, but all in all I felt this aspect of the film was handled well considering (of course, that said the idea of an African American town called Freemanville was a little much).
POSSE isn’t cinematic gold by any stretch but since I’d caught it as a kid and loved it then, there was no way I wasn’t gonna love it now. This flick is YOUNG GUNS without all the white people and it works despite all its minor shortcomings. There’s something to be said about a group of men all bathing naked in the same pool of water (with one guy actually taking a leak in the water directly in front of another) but hey, it was the wild west after all and by the looks of most cowboys, hygiene wasn’t the highest priority on their to do list. I want to give this flick a higher score but since the Blu-ray’s dry when it comes to features, you really have to love this flick to make this purchase worthwhile.
Video: 2.35:1 Widescreen in 1080p HD. I’m amazed at how up to date the picture is, you wouldn’t even know it was almost twenty years old.
Audio: 2.0 DTS-HD in English, French and Spanish with the same subtitle options. Clearly they didn’t front much cash on the audio, but the POSSE theme song is still catchy as hell.