this movie. I believe it's my first "blaxploitation" film ever. nope, never seen all of Blacula, or Blackenstein or any of those. heck, I've never even see any of Jim Kelly's myriad kung fu movies. well, except for Enter the Dragon of course, but everyone has seen that one!
or at least they should have by now.
having said that, and being admittedly not the target demographic, I enjoyed this action movie. Tamara Dobson does a fine job in the lead, portraying Cleo as a powerful woman working for the US government while helping her own neighborhood. that's usually a switch, it seems, from a lot of these movies.
Shelley Winters as Mommy is a little over the top, but heck, it's Shelly Winters. nice that an Academy Award winning actress as the villain, every bit as capable as Cleo.
Dobson does some of her own stunts, though her martial arts are nothing spectacular. the rest of the action is pretty typical, gun fights, knives and the obligatory car chase. she's really the best part of the movie, and you could tell Warner Brothers was hoping this was the start of a franchise.
alas, they waited two years to make a sequel and by then the blaxploitation fad was on it's last legs, so there's only the one- Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold and that doesn't appear to be out on DVD yet.