Blaxploitation doesn't get enough love. Before Black Americans could regularly expect incisive and thought-provoking films like Moonlight or The Last Black Man in San Francisco, blaxploitation was the only item on the menu. Strangely, as the Black cinematic pallet began to broaden with a new range of selections from chefs like Spike Lee and John Singleton, the culture started treating their former staple of blaxploitation like spam. "Yeah, it's good in a pinch and for rations, but who wants to consume it every day?"
Me, I want to consume it every day.
Of all the great entries into the genre, my absolute favorite blaxploitation flick has to be Trouble Man. In the film, Robert Hooks stars as a stylish neighborhood "problem solver." If you've got trouble and you can't go to the police, Trouble Man is more than happy to help you get right- but only if the price is right.
In my eyes, the film is the best spiritual adaptation of Luke Cage ever. Marvel's newer televised version of Cage is a little too altruistic and saccharine to match his character's grit from the comic. However, Trouble Man, or rather its stellar soundtrack by Marvin Gaye, did find its way into the Marvel cinematic universe by way of a name drop in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. You can watch the whole movie for free in the video link above.