Plot: Sidney Lord Jones (Thalmus Rasulala) just walked out of San Quentin and he already has big plans, with a huge score on his mind. At the same time, Travis () is desperate to get out of debt and find a new lease on life. He has exhausted his options and feels trapped, so he is open to a risky situation if it can pay off. Jones saddles up next to a local bookie who has the cash to front the operation, not to mention the connections to fence the stolen goods. With three million dollars worth of diamonds involved, they will need someone high up the ladder to help unload the jewels. Soon Jones begins to assemble a team to take on the heist, but trust runs thin and with so much on the line, betrayals seem inevitable. If the group remains solid, they will all earn a healthy take, but a double cross could yield a much higher score. Can this group of desperate criminals pull off this multi-million dollar heist and if so, what will happen in the aftermath with three million dollars involved?
Entertainment Value: Despite the film’s marketing which made this seem like a vehicle for Thalmus Rasulala, Cool Breeze is an ensemble piece. The story does well in bringing together a band of colorful, fleshed out characters, each driven by desperation with their backs against the wall. Even the smaller roles have a stake in how things turn out, as the writing makes sure to establish the characters. That in turn adds tension and helps keep you involved, as the outcome impacts so many people, even outside of the heist group. I thought Cool Breeze told a terrific story that keeps you interested and invested, not an easy task to pull off. The cast is rock solid, with good performances across the board that make even the smaller roles seem substantial. Rasulala is the stand out, with strong screen presence and a way of just being the coolest guy in the room. A drama with some crime thriller mixed in, the movie still retains a nice sense of humor at times, but the tone is serious and often desperate. Cool Breeze doesn’t lean on camp or spectacle, just giving us a good story and good performances. I think blaxploitation fans will be most drawn to this, but anyone interested in crime thrillers or heist movies should find plenty to like here.
This movie offers up a few breasts and bare asses, including an early appearance from genre legend Pam Grier. Her scene is quite memorable too, as she banters with Rasulala while naked after a tryst. Not much blood, just some stage blood smeared on a guy after he was shot. The dialogue in Cool Breeze is well written and often serious in tone, but there are still some gems to discover. Some humorous exchanges between tough guys and of course, some wild insults are uncorked, so some nice lines here. A highlight was a wheelchair bound wife reminding her unfaithful husband about the “shrunken little thing” between his legs. There’s also some fun cop talk, as the police shake people down and what not. Cool Breeze is a grounded story that never veers into camp or nonsense, so it doesn’t rate high on the insanity meter.
Overall Insanity: 1/10