Cinemalphabet: L is for Let’s Do It Again (1975)
Technically speaking, Let’s Do It Again is not a sequel to Uptown Saturday Night, but it does reunite Cosby and Poitier, who once again play working class married guys who find themselves at the center of a scheme to save community landmark – in this case a fraternal lodge called the Brothers and Sisters of Shaka – from getting bulldozed, foreclosed or gentrified.
Clyde Williams (Poitier) and Billy Foster (Cosby) pledge to raise $20K for their beleaguered organization, except well, they don’t have it. Naturally, they hatch an elaborate scheme involving hypnotism and a cheesy boxer (played by Jimmy “Dy-no-mite” Walker) and a rigged boxing match. As with nearly all films utilizing the “save the community center” trope there are subplots, plot twists and reversals of fortunes before our anti-heroes realize their goal. Cosby and Poitier (who proves adept at directing comedic performances) have great chemistry in this marginally serviceable plot, which is as patchy as a baby doll’s scalp. Fortunately, the plot doesn’t need to be particularly complex because the performances are memorable and the lulz abound! Scene stealers include: Calvin Lockhart who plays a character named – wait for it – Biggie Smalls (yes, that’s where the late rapper took his moniker), who proves an endless fly in the ointment or pain in the ass, which ever you prefer. Also on board are the great Ossie Davis and the terminally 40 year old looking John “James Evans” Amos, who seems blissfully unaware he’s acting in close proximity to his TV son, J.J.
And all that’s wonderful, but the real show stopper is the Curtis Mayfield written and produced soundtrack featuring the spectacular theme by The Staples Singers:
The film also boasts a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo by the one, the only, Ms. Jayne Kennedy!
Let’s Do It Again is available on Netflix Instant View and is WELL worth a watch!