Gang of Roses


Director: Jean Claude la Marre

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Gang of Roses I remember the first time I ever saw a Robert Townsend film I knew that whatever he made for the rest of his or my life, I was going to go see it, & I have.

To say Jean Claude is no Spike Lee or Robert Townsend is no big slam, as cheezier filmmakers can also be fun. Nevertheless, Gang of Roses (2003) left me reluctant to check out his earlier film.

I did like seeing tough girls in a shoot-em-up. I wish their costumes hadn't made them look sillier than comic book characters, as the women playing the roles were better than their physical character designs.

A typical character, expert with knives, is dressed up clownishly in a cowgirl ice-cream suit with push-up bra. Obviously she'd look filthy dirty after ten seconds of riding if she actually had to lived in a carnival of a rodeo dressing like that. But she's always tidy, pressed, & fresh from the laundry.

There is no question but that these performers are beauties. And if all one wants is busty babes in disco-cowboy suits, their tacky fashion show will meet the requirement.

Gang of RosesBut as actors these women really were trying to be women of the old west. It seemed to me they might've been pretty convincing, if they hadn't been so hamstrung by laughable fetish costumes.

The endless parade of western cliche gags weren't rendered original by putting women instead of men through such uninteresting paces.

I must say though that director Jean Claude self-cast as Baby Face was one of the better played characters, & Bobby Brown was totally convincing as a villain. When the most interesting characters in a film about women are the men, you just know the director doesn't care as much as pretends to care about women's roles.

All the women's characters were thinly drawn. Right from the first introduction of one gal living apparently all alone on a homestead cutting firewood improbably in her Sunday best, but otherwise not much to do, life in the old west being so lazy-like, there was just no sense of any of them ever having had an actual life in the old west.

Included are a Chinese gunslinging woman, with the bulk of the main cast black. Given the number of freed blacks who came west in the 1870s, some slight credibility could have been found if only the writer had been up to the task. Yet for what is shown on the screen there is not much that would lead one to believe these women could've existed. Still, it was a noble effort, & not quite a waste of any viewer's time.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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