Story: Naomi (Diamond Mott) is deeply entrenched in the street game, as the acting leader of the Guardians, a gang that is just one of three powerful factions in the area. As usual, the conflicts arise over money and this time, it all centers on a new, very powerful drug, known as Suga. While drugs are often the focus of the financial operations of the gangs, Suga offers a new twist, to say the least. This drug isn’t about getting high, this is a genuine health booster that cures countless ailments, including cancer, if you believe the claims. As such, demand is high and while the trio of gangs offer ample competition, Suga has also captured the attention of Big Pharma. After all, if Suga can cure so many health woes, then that is certain to erode Big Pharma’s chokehold on the healthcare field. But can Naomi fend off competitors, betrayals, and the ultra rich pharmaceutical industry, or will she and the Guardians lose their grip on the Suga trade?Entertainment Value: This is quite a wild ride and while it seems designed to showcase the soundtrack more than the filmmaking skills involved, Suga Babies has a lot of b movie magic involved. The narrative is a blend of crime thriller, light action, and surreal moments that sometimes defy all description, but never fail to entertain. I love the dialogue, which is over the top and hilarious, thanks to an odd script and some enthusiastic, fun to watch performances. If you need Daniel Day Lewis and Aaron Sorkin level cinema to enjoy yourself, you’ll likely be let down by Suga Babies, but I had a great time here and you never know what wacky moment might unfold next. The courtroom scenes are interesting and despite the budget limitations, the energy and DIY spirit here really elevate these kind of scenes. Even in scenes like the trial where you can tell the location isn’t what we’re supposed to think it is, the movie just marches on and unleashes the wild dialogue and over the top performances. My personal favorite scene was one where a piano playing gangster has an awkward, but beyond hilarious encounter with some potential assassins, it is pure b movie joy and I had to rewind and rewatch several times. To me, this one has good replay value and is quite quotable, with a number of memorable sequences.
In the realm of low budget cinema, the cast can often be the difference between a fun flick and a flop, so I was glad the cast here is mostly energetic and committed. This kind of over the top, even surreal at times movie needs that and for the most part, the cast seems to get the material and performs well. The performances are just what the material needs, enthusiastic and some even go for broke and those turns are massive fun. Whenever someone starts to chew the scenery here, it is a blast to watch and it happens quite often. Samantha McCoy steals the show in some scenes as Mouse, with a good effort and Diamond Mott is right there as well, in a fun performance. Both stand out despite a larger than expected ensemble cast, which also includes Felicia Rivers (who also directs), Patrice Jennings, Cody Meggett, and Amanda Gilchrist. The Suga Babies from the film’s title do indeed appear, but not until late in the movie and they’re not a primary narrative presence.
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