Boaz Yakin was prophesied a brilliant career, and with good reason. What few flaws the film may have, it makes up for in truckloads of soul.
Calling it a blaxploitation flick might be stretching it, but still, it's a very black movie. You may actually need subtitles, as some the thick ghetto-lingo might be rather incomprehensible to anyone who didn't grow up in Harlem.
The acting is kind of flat at times, you might have trouble caring what happens to some characters and the music sometimes works, and sometimes simply ruin otherwise cool scenes. Samuel L. Jackson is as cool as ever, and even manages to make games of chess look tough, but the highpoint of the film is the ending, which makes it all worth while.
Sadly, 1994 was the last time Boaz Yakin was mentioned in any press I ever saw. He didn't die. Not literary at least, but after this debut, he plummeted into a craptastic mush of forgettable films.