Tully (Joe Anderson) just got paroled. But his first night out could be his last. He just killed a cop. He's on the run. And no one's going to listen to an ex-con with the Aryan Nation. His leader (Anson Mount) just cut him loose, and as the police close in, Tully and his girlfriend (Dawn Olivieri) add home invasion and hostages to the body count. But no one counted on Mr. Walker (Danny Glover), an ex-con himself, to fight back - using his understanding of the racist mind to turn the tables on a desperate and violent man. Will it be enough to keep his family alive?
Whenever you see "inspired by true events" in any film's marketing, take it with an extreme grain of salt. After all, the marketing team behind the remake of 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' tried to use it. In the case of 'Supremacy,' this is a particularly visceral movie that treads the thin line of historical accuracy while also trying to make a statement about race relations. While 'Supremacy' only marginally succeeds with it's lofty ambitions, the movie does prove to be a halfway decent showcase for actors Joe Anderson and Danny Glover.
Garrett Tully( Joe Anderson) is a free man after doing 15 years hard time. One would think that a man that had been incarcerated for that length of time would want to maybe reconnect with an old flame, or go see some family, or make sure he got in contact with his parole officer - anything to stay on the right side of the law. Tully on the other hand has other notions for his freedom. As the number three man in the Arian Nation, he has been assigned a job that needs immediate attention. Habitual junkie Doreen (Dawn Olivieri) is an Arian groupie who has been tasked with picking Tully up from prison and getting him where he needs to go. The only problem is they apparently have no money for gas or other expenditures forcing Tully to commit armed robbery hardly an hour out of prison.
Things get bad when the pair are pulled over for a routine traffic violation. The fact that the police officer is African American is not lost on Tully who can not let this slight to his sensitivities go. Rather than hand over his identification, he shoots the officer in cold blood. With an entire police force now looking for Tully and Doreen, the two criminals ditch their truck and break into a remote country home owned by Mr. Walker (Danny Glover) and his daughter in law, her two kids, and two grandchildren. Needless to say, taking hostages wasn't part of the plan and taking African American hostages adds even more tension to an already volatile situation.
Walker is an ex-con himself and has experience with white supremacists like Tully. He knows how to deal with people under strain and must then move the pieces ever so carefully in order to ensure his family isn't harmed. At the same time, Walker's estranged police officer son Raymond, Derek Luke, is part of the manhunt searching for Tully and Doreen, only the last place he would suspect to find his targets would be in his father's home.
'Supremacy' is one of those movies that takes a big broad subject like race relations in America and attempts to carve out a pot-boiler of a movie. Written by Eric J. Adams and directed by Deon Taylor, the film spends entirely too much time on making all of its characters unlikable. We're clearly not meant to enjoy the company of Tully and Doreen, however, we don't really feel anything for Walker and his family either. Granted the Walker family finds themselves in an unnatural extreme situation, but rather than coming together, much of the time they bicker and cut each other down in what becomes a display of base stereotype.
Through it all, Joe Anderson and Danny Glover are really giving this show everything they've got. I've long been impressed with Anderson as an actor and the layers he can bring to a performance and Danny Glover has been a long favorite in my household as far back as his villainous turn in 'Witness.' With 'Supremacy' their talents are ultimately wasted in this little cliched parable. Perhaps the biggest issue here is we're for some reason meant to attempt to feel something for Tully, the idea being "he's not really a bad guy, the prison system made him a bad man." This apparently was the argument real-life murderer Robert Scully Jr. and his defense team used at trial to explain away his actions. If this is truly the ultimate goal, the movie spends entirely too much time making Tully out to be a despicable vile waste of a human being. The effort to have the audience empathize with him comes far too late through a series of random out of place flashbacks to be of any use here. It's a shame really because the performances are really strong. The cast as a whole is committed through and through - but the blunt hand guiding this show could have used a little more finesse to make the picture come together in a meaningful way.
I suppose at that end of the day, 'Supremacy' should be commended for at least demonstrating some ambition. The biggest thing it has going against it is that it tries entirely too hard to be 'American History X.' 'Supremacy' is a movie that I can't help but imagine could have been a better movie with a bit more careful editing and some subtle changes in character depictions. As it stands, it's an okay drama that is too preoccupied trying to say something profound rather than telling a compelling story.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Supremacy' arrives on Blu-ray through Well Go USA. Pressed on a Region A locked BD25 disc and housed in a standard blu-ray case with slipcover, the disc opens to a series of trailers for other Well Go USA releases before arriving at the main menu.
'Supremacy' has an intermittently problematic and beautiful 2.35:1 1080p transfer. During daylight scenes, things look great. Detail is wonderful, colors pop off the screen - in particular the color yellow, and for much of the start of the film, things are spot on. Then the night shoots come in. On top of having ultra thick black levels that can kick in a bit of crush, some deliberate color grating appears to have been used to make scenes within the Walker home appear even darker losing the fine detail. This skews colors all out of whack - even for scenes where there is more than ample lighting, flesh tones look grey and colors look bled out. While watching this I couldn't help but remember the horrible color grating that permeated much of the Blu-ray release for the 1990 remake of 'Night of the Living Dead.' Once daylight scenes kick back in, the rich and wonderful detail is restored and colors appear alive and primaries are giving the right amount of room to leap off the screen - especially the blues in the Walker's kitchen. Had that annoying color grating not been employed, this would be a beautiful picture, as it stands, it's just so so.
'Supremacy' earns its marks for this DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track. Imaging gets a heck of a workout through the run of this movie as voices carry and echo around in a natural way letting the music occupy the side channels while leaving plenty of space for sound effects to actually feel a part of the scene. On that end levels are also nicely balanced - this is a very loud movie over all, but nothing feels overly loud or unnaturally heightened. That said, there is a lot of angry yelling with numerous racial epitaphs so I'd make sure to keep your volume at levels that might not draw unnecessary attention - especially if you're like me and live in an apartment building. Overall this is a rock solid audio track with little if anything to fault it for.
Behind The Scenes: (HD 8:34) This is an onset video taken while the cast and crew shot the police officer shooting sequence and part of the initial home invasion sequence.
Trailer: (HD 2:01) This is the same trailer that has been shown ahead of other Well Go USA releases. Does a quick and dirty job of previewing the movie.
Considering the marketing I had seen leading up to the release of 'Supremacy' I didn't expect much from this movie going in. While it is a better movie than I thought it would be, it still flawed and tries too hard to be something more. Maybe with a little tighter editing this flick might have reached its goals, but as it rests it's just a showcase for its lead actors Danny Glover and Joe Anderson to strut their stuff. I can't really suggest people go in for a blind buy, it's rent first and see how much of a fan you are kind of movie.