Foxy Brown is Pam Griers 2nd movie as a star after the succes of Coffy. Written and directed by the same guy who was responsible for Coffy and originally intended to be a sequel to that film it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the plot feels very similar to that film. although I find Coffy a better movie, this is the one that is most widely known spawning not only a title reference to Jackie Brown but also being responsible for the inspiration of the namechoice of female rapper Foxy Brown. Let’s take this flick to the hot spot!
Foxy Brown is a more serious version of Coffy, less exploitive and grittier. The plot is fairly the same. In Coffy our lead went after the people responsible for hospitalizing her cop-buddy, in this movie she goes after the people responsible for killing her cop-boyfriend Michael. Because of this I had the idea early on in the movie that we were actually dealing with a sequel here. It really felt that they did some last minute rewriting of the script. Turns out this time the cop ain’t just a friend, he’s her boyfriend and he’s actually in the Witness Protection Program getting plastic surgery, a new ID and what not. Too bad Foxy’s brother played by Huggy Bear is in debt by the people who have a score to settle with this cop so he rats him out and you know what happens next. Foxy Brown goes out for some vigilantism… again.
Oh, our crimebosses responsible for Michaels death aren’t only into drugs, they also happen to be into prostitution which once again gives Pam a great way to get inside of the organisation.
As you might have noticed the word “again” is used a lot. So from here I’ll try to focus on the things that differ.
As said earlier this movie is more serious and less over the top. This is also it’s weakness. It’s less fun this time. This also means the whole exploitation level is down a notch. There’s less gratious nudity and even though there is violence, it never reaches the height of man being dragged to his death behind a car. We do get a man getting his eye ripped out by a couple of clothing-hangers, I’d have to give credit to that though.
People expecting Pam to show at least as much flesh as in Coffy will come out dissapointed. Moments in the movie that could be show off her good are shockingly subdued. Scenes like these play in the shadows, behind curtains etc. Even during a sexscene her boobs a nicely covered by the hands of her partner. She’s teasing us throughout the movie as 80% of her outfits are tailormade to emphasize her bust. We do get rewarded for our waiting as she’s has quite en extended scene where she’s tied to a bed topless and has to get a razor from the nightstand with her mouth.
Now back to those outfits. During the credits sequence, which resemble a cheap James Bond knock-off, there is someone credited with the wardrobe of Pam Grier. It shows. In almost every scene she’s wearing something completely different than the previous scene. In one scene she is audtioning to be a prostitute in a yellow dress. Next scene she is at the house of the criminals to get ready for a first job. She now is in a stunning red dress. Once in the house she has to change into her work outfit; a blue dress. That’s three dresses in less than 5 minutes and it ain’t a montage from a romantic comedy or something like that.
Pam does a better job at acting here than in Coffy, only memorable in the rest of the cast are Antiono Vargas as her untrustworthy brother and Sid Haig, back as a bad guy. This time he’s a simple pilot falling for Pam Griers charms… again!
Foxy Brown is definitely worth a look and in the end only a few steps behind Coffy. It is still hard to take your eyes of Pam and carries the movie without any trouble. Some of the effects are a bit dated and some actions scenes have been done better in The A-Team but it still holds up resonably well considering it was made in 1974.